As I look back at my last few posts it seems to me that I need to lighten up a little. Tonight, the focus is on comedy. Teaching is fun. Crazy events unfold in classrooms every day. There is no anticipating the crazy. Sometimes it comes straight out of the blue and lifts you off your feet.
Last year, my colleague and I were both teaching in her room. Yes, there were three teachers actually and about 46 students in one room. We were running lines. Our BIG fourth grade play was coming up. It was crunch time. It was the end of the day. It was spring. It was smelly. The door between our rooms was ajar. Despite the large number of humans crammed into the room I suddenly heard my phone ringing. I was pretty sure that the office was calling to alert me because one of my student's dismissal plans had changed. Not wanting to miss the call I stepped back and then planned to turn and head toward the door so that I could get to the phone.
Sometimes, things don't go as planned. I didn't plan for there to be a small chair directly behind me. I didn't plan to propel myself into the air and I didn't plan to hit the ground with such gusto that my full teacher-bladder would explode on impact.
I popped up and ran for the phone. I missed that darn call. Now the office was paging me! That is actually when I realized that I wet my pants. I tied my raincoat around my waist, checked my ego, and somehow made it through the rest of the day (20 minutes or so) with my diminishing dignity as students asked me, "are you okay?" "are you sure?" "you fell kinda hard!"
We got LOTS of laughs out of that one. We would still joke about it from time to time except for today I provided some fresh material!
Let me set the stage. I was facilitating a number talks routine. I had just put some problems on the board for the students' consideration. There was noise in the hallway. I didn't want to shut my door because it was locked. While the kids were taking some think time to make sense of the problem set, I thought I'd unlock the door. I headed toward my desk looking for my keys while clutching my coffee cup. I tried to negotiate a gigantic inflatable chair (looks like a bean-bag chair) while not stepping on any children. Something went wrong because my boot landed on the edge of the chair. I lost my balance and fell onto the chair. This would have been a bit embarrassing but overall, fine because, how much damage can an inflatable chair do anyway? Turns out, it can do quite a bit of damage. I bounced off the surface of the chair and the left side of my head and my left elbow were propelled into the classroom wall and floor respectively.
There was silence. I hit my head really hard. Although I immediately told the students that I was fine, some of them looked at me with eyes that told me that they were terrified. Some were also mildly concerned about my coffee. Despite being in a travel mug, some was spilled on the wall and they knew that the loss of coffee would make me sad. After the impact I sat up and gathered my wits for a moment. As I sat there I couldn't help but think of a Saturday Night Live skit I had seen this past Saturday. The ironic thing is that I seldom watch SNL anymore. I'm too old to stay up that late. Anyway, the irony of seeing this skit and then taking a second digger in my classroom definitely caused me to pause.
My sweet colleagues were quick to point out that at least I didn't wet myself this time! They are precious. Need a laugh tonight? Check out this SNL skit. It was the perfect skit for me to have seen this past Saturday. At least I know that I'm not alone!
SNL, "Teacher Fell Down"