Monday, November 30, 2009

A Bloody Mess

Everything's going along smoothly. The math lesson went just as visualized—maybe better because Patrick wanted to count the long chain of linking cubes that stretched across the room. (There were 605.)

Mrs. Frech was in the office completing the paperwork for tomorrow's field trip. I was soloing the class—28 kids. I was reading a story. What could possibly go wrong?

Spontaneously M's nose gushed blood. Blood ran down her face and on to the front of her clothes. Blood was smeared on her hands, arms, and cheeks.

I put down the book. I got up and tried to clear a path through the bodies on the mat to the door.

"M, stand up. Go to the office! You know where the office is, right? Lori in the office will take care of you." I ushered her across the sea of students, opened the door, and sent her on her way. I knew that there would be blood to mop up.

Because I emphasize "doing the right thing without being asked" one girl had already grabbed a rag with the idea that she would start mopping up the trail of blood across the mat. I remembered my trainings about blood-born pathogens.

"Oh, no. This is a job for grown-ups. Let me clean this up. Stand back everyone!" As I try to gather the materials together to clean up the bloody mess, another girl vomits.

Arrrgh! In less than a minute a calm and peaceful scene has gone totally out of control. Luckily, Mrs. Frech showed up about this time. I thought she had come back when she M arrived in the office, but it turned out that M never got to the office; she spent 5 minutes bleeding all over the girls' bathroom making a huge new cleanup project for Mrs. Frech.

People who think that it's possible to teach 29 kindergartners solo (such people exist) deserve to stand in my shoes this morning. One at a time.

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Tomorrow we'll be planting trees on a ranch near our school. Please remember to dress your child in sturdy shoes and layered clothing that can get dirty.

Don't forget to send along a lunch.

We'll be planting trees most of the day, and ought to return to school by about 2:15.

4 comments:

teach5 said...

Ahh yes, bloody noses and vomit, throw in a bathroom "accident" and you've about got it all covered. I sometimes have another person in the room, but she comes in tutors her group and leaves. I'm at 28 right now. I'd love to have some of those people making the numbers decisions do it for a few days......

Matthew said...

Wow! When I left, it all seemed under control yesterday morning! At least one kid throwing up did not inspire more of the same, a la "Stand By Me"...

And I also agree with your stance on needing an assistant. I realize some view this as one manner by which we can close our budget gap. But in the end, it isn't going to close the gap and it will only continue to increase a growing learning deficit among our kids.

Barbra Stephens said...

What...no one wet their pants? We deserve Hazard Pay. You handled it by the book and everyone when home alive and unkilled by the blood born pathogens, right?
What does it take for teachers to get an assistant? Perhaps we need to hear from our parents on this one...

The Honorable Mention said...

What...no one wet their pants? We deserve Hazard Pay. You handled it by the book and everyone when home alive and unkilled by the blood born pathogens, right?
What does it take for teachers to get an assistant? Perhaps we need to hear from our parents on this one...