For years I have sworn I could write a book about the situations I’ve faced that NO school of education could have possibly prepared me for; here’s the ongoing list: (Names have been changed to protect the innocent and not-so-innocent).
1. One year on Halloween I had to ask a junior to remove a fish from his arm–really. Costumes were against school policy then, and he decided to covertly stick his hand into a plastic piranha and draw blood on the remaining expanse of arm. It was actually kind of amusing, in a morbidly clever way. This is the first time I remember uttering the words: “They didn’t teach me I was going to have to deal with that in teacher school.”
2. Recently we were discussing an analytical essay by Carson McCullers. The discussion leaped to the difference between security in American airports as opposed to those in other countries. I mentioned to my students that my mother’s first flight was a pilgrimage to Israel, and immediately a fast-moving thundercloud emitted a long, angry burst of thunder outside the classroom. The kids and I gaped at one another, and I said, “Of course we LOVE Israel because that’s where God’s people live.” Then we laughed heartily. They don’t teach you to ad-lib like that in teacher school. 🙂