Beginning Teacher Story - Fire and Broken Bones

I was thinking about some of my first year stories last night at the NC Bloggers Meet-Up, and I just had to share... In January, 1998, I started mid year in a small school in rural Eastern NC teaching a 2nd/3rd grade combo.  We had 99% free/reduced lunch, and the school had been taken over by the state... I did my best, and I loved each of the students as amazing, unique, and creative individuals.

My first year was filled with challenges; I had a runner (Where did he go?  He ran away from school?  Really?), a biter, several kids whose parents I saw selling stuff on the street corner by school daily, state representatives evaluating my teaching, an inexperienced principal, and a group of students who had home situations that made us cry most days.  I still love those kids!!  <3

One day I walked into my room from a meeting and my students were complaining that someone must have burned popcorn.  I thought nothing of it until I saw the flames.  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  Y'all - it's a good thing we practice those fire drills, 'cause I started to panic.  Luckily, habit took over, I yelled "Fire!  Line up!"  My class walked jogged out in our line, and I alerted other classes, since the fire alarm hadn't started ringing.  Everyone was safe.  The firetruck came, everything was ok.  It was an electrical fire in one of the ancient florescent lights - it didn't spread.  No damage done, except the lights didn't work.  Whew!

We couldn't go back in our classroom because of the smoky smell, and I needed a moment to calm back down, so we had an extra recess time.  About 10 minutes into this, I hear "Watch this!"  I turn, and in slow motion I see Marshall jump from the top of the slide... time slowed... it felt like it took forever for me to start running... when he landed, everyone heard it and turned.  His arm was *very* broken.  OK.  Whuck?  I'm brand new.  They didn't tell me about this in my teacher preparation courses!!    We didn't have walkie-talkies, outside intercoms, or any of those things.  I stayed with Marshall while my assistant ran to the office for help.  The secretary ran out with a ruler and a pillow, which we used as a splint for his arm to get him into the office.  Grandma wouldn't be able to pay ambulance fees, so we waited for Grandma to race over and pick him up to carry him to the doctor.  By this point, I was crying and hysterical (What have I gotten myself into?), and the secretary gave me a Dr. Pepper and made me relax for a few minutes.  Whew!!! 

Have you had any cr-a-zy days teaching?
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