11 June 2013

Tomorrow, I wear a haz-mat suit to school

Today started wonderfully!

Since the kids are doing state testing (required for graduation in NY) I am proctoring.  The exam I was proctoring went from 1:15-4:15, so I didn’t have to be at school until 10.  I woke up, went to the gym, stopped to get some fruit on the way home, took a shower, took a nap, got up, went and had breakfast at a place that is normally closed when I go to work at the normal time, got to work by 9:15.

I sat from 10-12:45 cleaning, organizing, packing, and getting a travel list ready for my upcoming Europe trip, which somehow keeps getting closer and closer.

Kids started arriving to my room around 12:45.

Sample test I found online

 We started the test on time.

Even with all my years of experience teaching, there are still days that I see things I have never seen before.  Today there were two such events in the three short hours that I proctored the state science exam.

First, students were not allowed to leave sooner than 90 minutes into the exam.  One girl called me to her table 28 minutes into the test and said she was finished – with all 60+ multiple choice and 13+ short answer, written responses.  I looked at her multiple-choice sheet and saw that she had marked each answer with 3 (instead of a, b, c, d they do 1, 2, 3, 4).  I told her to double-check her answers since, “I’m pretty sure every answer is not three and also that you may be able to answer some of the short answer questions.”

She continued to call me back to her in 12 minute intervals until I finally told her that she could not leave until at least 90 minutes into the exam and that I would not let her leave if she was not trying on the exam. 

In the end, she did not change her 3’s, but did complete 3 short answer questions. 

Second new teaching scenario: Later, as students who cared about and actually tried on the test started to finish, turn in their work, and sign out of the testing room, I noticed something on the floor.

I do not allow food in my classroom since NYC is a city of rats and mice and other critters. 

But, I saw some jelly on the floor in three places.

I didn’t want to get upset since the culprit had probably left the room since the other students were still testing and had not gotten up from their seats.  I figured a student must have dropped one of those fast-food condiment packets on the floor and stepped on it.  I gathered several napkins from my desk and quietly bent over to wipe up the mess – first the smaller one and then the larger one.

After the first wipe, I realized that it may not be jelly.

No, it was definitely not jelly.

It was way, way worse.

It was way, way, way worse than jelly.

It was an excretion.

It was blood and chunky mucous from a menstruating girl.

It was on the floor of in my classroom, and on a napkin I was holding in front of me.

Complete shock and awe!!!!

It took a lot for me to take the napkin quietly to the trash, calmly open the classroom door, and quietly signal for the hallway proctor to come to my door so that she could watch the students while I went to find the nearest chemistry lab to take a full body shower.

I only found a bathroom, and had to settle for hand washing scrubbing as though prepping to perform surgery.

I went back to the room and immediately emailed the administration about the incident and requested that my room be haz-mat-ed (I’m not sure if that is an actually term, but that is what I would like done to my room!)

I’m still trying to wrap my head around how this huge chunk and two streaks could have fallen out of a person wearing clothes.  Did she not notice?  Did she realize it was going on and just let it happen   Did she see the mess she left?  How did it get out of her underwear and onto my floor?
I wanted one of these
anyway?  Did she see the mess she left?  How did it get out of her underwear and onto my floor?

Sorry if you are sensitive to the grossness of this, but I really don’t understand how a person could just let this happen.  How she could not tell this was going on and not request to go to the bathroom.

I get that the test is required for graduating, but this was a situation that should have superseded the exam for at least a little while.

She needed to give this situation some immediate attention!

I may need to start keeping a suit like the one pictured handy in my classroom.