Same job, different uniform.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Snap Heard 'Round The World

Chapter 1

It seemed normal enough. I had arrived in my classroom portable (via the front door) a couple of minutes after the first bell rang and made a bee line for the back door to let my shivering students enter after their morning hug. After the first wave of students were in the room getting settled in for the morning I made my way to my desk and started focusing on the teaching tasks for the day.

What happened next was so fast and chaotic, I didn't know who had let out the first cry, but what I heard bleating from my students' mouths was.....RRAAAAATTT!!! Pointing, jumping, scurrying of wee claws, disappearing into ceiling tiles, scratching, long tail, RAT!!
I didn't actually see it....thank the lord...but I heard it. My imagination filled the details in more than sufficiently enough for my tastes.
Of course you should know, or at the very least be informed, that my students' attention was completely shot for the day. I might has well have been trying to teach a porcupine to bake a cake. As each new student came in the room the story had to be told anew. It was a foot long! It was two feet long! It crawled up the extension cord! It's living in our ceiling! It should be our class mascot!
District maintenance was promptly contacted and on their way. My students were going to be working in the adjoining classroom that morning, anyway, so Wilton, the pest guy, could do his thing. He pulled me aside after having scoped out the situation and said that is was not good. It was more than one or two rats....there were feces everywhere. Awesome.

Chapter 2

After Wilton had done all he could do, which included setting different kinds of traps on the floor and in the ceiling, we resumed our routine and began their "Book Clubs." They chatted for a few minutes as they discussed the book and then all fell silent as they dug into the next chapter.

"SNAP!!" We all jerked to attention and listened and watched as the rat, for all we could hear and see, was thrashing, squeaking and scratching for his life. I froze waiting for the worst. Was this hairy bastard going to fall from the sky in the steely grip of the rat trap?? Oh Holy Moses!! The rat, so far, was staying on his side of the ceiling tiles.
My students knew what to do. Most of them ran screaming from the room. Was this actually happening?

They ran right into the building for lunch - thankfully it was our time.
After their goldfish and sandwiches, the assistant principal, hearing all about Ratgate '09 from my charges, decided to scope things out for himself and make sure there were no "live ones" in our rafters.
We returned from lunch and he was poking the ceiling tiles with a meter stick. I point to where we heard "the snap," he pokes it and, KA THUD! The rat is there, he is still dead and his is still giving me a major case of the heebee jeebees.
We left the room and learned about fractions in an alternative, rat free location.

I will never watch Ratatouille again.

I must return to my room, but I don't know if I can take it if.........SNAP!

How was your day?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please don't take my tardiness as a sign of not caring.

This is a really bad story. The kind of story that would make me leave teaching forever.

But there are some questions. What grade are you teaching??? I thought you taught toddlers.

Also, what's a morning hug? I mean, I recognize the words, but the concept is eluding me.

Finally, I read that ONE rat was caught. But there were multiple rats. Are you still living in the same county? If so, what's wrong with you?

Thursday, January 22, 2009


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