For Educators by Educators

Real Stories Written by Carol G. Smith

Have you experienced an amusing, or shocking event connected to degradation of school infrastructure?  Unfortunately, I have, and so have many of my educator colleagues.  Here are our little stories.

Three Silent Mice
It was my first year of teaching.  I was nervous of the parent teacher conference about to commence.  The parents arrived, and I ushered them in.  They were sitting with their backs to the lockers we had in the classroom.  I sat across from them facing the lockers.  Midway through the conference three little cute mice ran out from the lockers and began to play on the floor just behind the parents.  As the mice played together I was inwardly shocked, but I did not allow my face to register any emotion because I did not want the parents to see the mice!  The conference continued successfully as the mice did summersaults on the floor, and I desperately tried to remain “normal” and not allow my eyes to watch the mice.  The parents remained blissfully unaware of the hyperactive rodents playing silently behind their backs.  They never knew their child’s classroom had mice!

The Monster Bug
The State Congressman was due to visit our school tomorrow.  As usual prior to any important visitation, the maintenance people were out with pesticides spraying the halls and front offices to, hopefully, chase all insects into hiding away from the sharp visitor’s eyes.   This activity actually ushered the bugs into our classrooms where they had not sprayed.  The next day one of my students reached into a bin of blocks, and screamed bloody murder at the sight of a huge insect on steroids…a GIANT bug…very scary.  Needless to say, chaos ensued.

My Friend and the Trailer
A teacher told me this story about her outside “trailer” classroom.  This trailer was located directly on the ground, and every time it rained a flood of water flowed blocking the entrance into the trailer classroom.  Most students jumped over this “mote” of water to enter the class, although they came in wet and muddy from being forced to walk outside on the ground in rainy/snowy weather (usually without coats).  One day a boy slipped, and landed squarely in the water.  Some students laughed at him.  The next year my friend retired from teaching.

Foot Problems
This story has circulated among teachers.  There was a school with a leaky roof, and a cracked foundation.  Many of the teachers noticed that their shoes felt damp at the end of the day.  Some began to have growths on their feet.  It turned out that the entire floor of the school was damp with moisture, and this caused many people to have fungal growth on their feet, and other health problems. 

The Frog in My Room
When I entered my room that morning I couldn’t believe my eyes!  The ceiling was slightly caved in.  The desks were wet.  There was a “pond” in the middle of my classroom.  By the pond was a dead frog!  I had to have students there that day, and we did the best we could in the circumstances.  They patched up the roof.  It subsequently leaked in my colleague’s room down the hall.

Is This Just Dust?
A school was being remolded and was due to be completed by the time school started.  The renovation was behind schedule, and the school had no choice but to open during the end of the renovation.  At open house it was obvious that the work was incomplete.  Dust sat in piles on all surfaces.  One of the parents collected some of the dust and had it analyzed.  The results came back as follows:  the dust contained a large amount of loose asbestos particles.  The parents insisted the school should be completed and cleaned properly for asbestos.  That year those students had to integrate into another school for 4 months while the renovations were being properly finished.