Saturday, July 10, 2010
I was substitute teaching for the first time in this one kindergarten class. The classroom arrangement had six children sitting around each round table, with a basket of pencils, markers, scissors, etc. in the middle. It was early in the school year, so the kids were hardly used to having their own teacher, let alone a sub. Still, the day was going well... until...
One child threw up.
That wouldn't have been so bad, except that instead of vomiting in the bathroom, or even on the floor, he let it go forward -- towards the center of the round table.
That wouldn't have been so bad, except that as I turned to the sound, I witnessed three others at his table following suit. Before I could respond even with a step forward, a couple other students at other tables joined in the fun.
Thankfully, gone are the days when the teachers have to do the cleaning up. Yes, my friends, there is something good to say about contagious diseases from bodily fluids.
"Everyone up!" I commanded.
The little ones didn't hesitate in obeying this stranger-adult.
"We're going for a walk."
School policy (I knew because our two sons went to the school) was that anyone who vomited was sent home for the day. I marched the entire class down to the office. Dropped off the six green kids, explaining that, in IMO, only one child, the first "offender," was actually ill. Then, I took the kids outside for a walk around the school -- a couple times. (The school did not have a playground, but thankfully the fall weather was fine for a fresh-aired walk.) When we returned the windows were opened, the messes were cleaned up, and gone was any reminder-smell.