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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?


  1. Wow,Jen - gives new meaning to "baptism by fire"! What a day!

    Your mention of your runner reminded me of a story from my first year. A little boy asked to go for a drink. He took the bathroom pass...unfortunately I didn't notice that he also took his lunchbox. Luckily for him AND for me, I happened to spot him out the window, tootin' along on way out the sidewalk. Turns out that he was going HOME to get his drink.

    Live and learn every day. Every single day!


  2. I don't have any exciting stories about my first year :( I do remember working EVERY single Saturday for the first two years, but no stories that involves kiddos.
    I am very thankful for that!

    It was great meeting you yesterday :)

  3. I am proud of you for hanging in there!
    An Open Door
    P.S. I am now YOUR newest follower!

  4. Camille, Thanks! I made it and ended up thriving as a teacher. Amber, that was just one bizarrely awful day. Luckily, it wasn't like that for the entire year! ;)


    Tania - lots of fun at the NC Blogger Meet-Up!! :) We need to do that again during the summer.

  5. In the same day? Whew.

    Thanks for stopping by my little blog. I've been a follower of yours for awhile now!

    Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

    1. Thanks! I'm loving the frogs. :)

  6. Thanks for stopping by :) I'm your newest follower.

    ❤ Mor Zrihen from...
    A Teacher's Treasure
    Teaching Treasures Shop

    1. Yay! I'm loving your blog!! I spent a large chunk of my afternoon there. :)

  7. This totally makes me feel better! I thought it couldn't get worse than my year but you defiantly have me beat!! And it's my 4th year, I should have this down by now, you just never know what's gonna come your way, it's a part of the job I love and hate!! Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Amy,

      I've been teaching for 13 years now, and have never had such a cray-cray day since! Uh oh, I'd better go knock on wood... :)

  8. I'm not sure I've ever had a teaching day that was quite that crazy! Bless your heart! Thanks for stopping by my blog!
    First with Franklin

    1. Awww, my heart appreciates the blessin'. :)

  9. So are you loving the classroom vs. Literacy Coach?
    {I would imagine it is easier to manage a class than all those ladies} lol
    I am your newest follower!

    Going Nutty!

  10. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! I follow your adorable blog! Thanks for sharing your fabulous ideas!


  11. LOL! I loved meeting you - it was so much fun! I'm working on the post now.

    Randi @ Teach It With Class
    My TPT Store
    My Facebook Page

  12. Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

    I'm your newest follower!

    Fun in Room 4B

  13. Wow! I can imagine I would have been crying and needing a lot more than just a Dr. Pepper to help calm me down that day. Super power points for you!

    Tales From Outside the Classroom


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