Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It Itches

Ok, I totally stole this idea. I am confessing it right up front. I was reading this post at Pretty All True and just dying with laughter. And it reminded me of two incidents I had while teaching that I knew I had to share. You'll thank me, really. (Or hate me. One of the two.)

 It was my first year teaching special education. I'd spent six years preparing for that moment, that first day of school. I was so nervous, so excited. I prepped for hours. I was teaching a pre primary impaired classroom of 24 kids -- 12 in the morning and 12 in the afternoon. I had two incredible paraprofessionals with me who had been in the classroom for years. My kids had disabilities ranging from speech impairments to cerebral palsy. You name it, we had it. It.was.awesome.

There were two little boys who will forever be on my heart, for various reasons. But these two times I'm going to tell you about were by far, two of the funniest times ever. They are real. I can't make this stuff up.

First. My first day teaching. Pay attention here. First day. Fresh out of college. I look across the snack table and see something crawling in Patrick's hair. (I'm like five feet from him, and I can see it.) I nab it. Ohhhhhh. Gaaag. It's a louse. Yeah. Lice. My paraprofessionals talk me down, then take me through what I have to do. I script out what I need to say to the parents, so as not to offend them. Patrick's dad comes to pick him up. I clear my throat. Here is our conversation. Verbatim.

Me: During a routine head check it was discovered that your child, Patrick, has head lice. This does not mean he is dirty or unkempt. In fact .. .
Dad (interrupting): eeh?? Lice? You sure 'bout that?
Me: Yes sir. As I was saying, this does not mean anything about your hygiene. But until . .
Dad (interrupting again): Are ya sure it ain't fleas? 'Cuz we was at my sisters and she was infested with fleas. (cue deep crotch scratching. Really.)

Now, there weren't any college classes that prepared me for that.

Second. It was my second year teaching. I was a bit more 'seasoned' if you will. I was also the queen of lice in my school. Nice title, no? If any child in the school was thought to have the little buggers, they were brought to me. I'd have a look and declare them clean, or not. The biggest one I 'caught' I could feel move under my thumb when I trapped it. I'll wait for you to quit squirming. I kept that one in scotch tape, up on my bulletin board just in case somebody tried to argue with me. But I digress. Clayton was not a well kept child. He wore the same clothes every day. He was often dirty. So when he had a dirt mark on his forehead one day, I wiped at it. It didn't come off. I kept wiping at it. And kept wiping at it. All day. It was only as I was wiping at if for the oh, 100th time or so, that I realized it was in the form of a perfect circle. How odd. It made a perfect circle. Like ring worm. And I'd been licking my fingers and rubbing at it all.day.long. A very long, very panicked call to the health department came after that.

I felt so smart.

Happy I shared?