Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Not Dead


It was the third time in two weeks that I'd covered Ms. J's class. (The math department has a ridiculous number of inservice days. There is a reason for this that I won't go into. It's good for me as it means there are plenty of working days.)

One kiddo walked in, saw the sub, and declared that Ms. J was dead. Again.

That's been his go-to. That's why she's been out, he says.

Since I had seen the teacher about five minutes before the boy entered the classroom, I could with certainty tell him that Ms. J was alive and well. And on campus.

Then, I explained to the class exactly how the school handles the announcement of the death of a teacher. Because, um, yeah, I've been on campus when they had to do that. It includes an announcement to the whole school, a letter each teacher reads to their classes, and counselors on hand, especially for the class of the recently deceased teacher.

(Luckily, I was not called in to cover the class of the recently passed teacher. I don't know how I would handle that. It was bad enough that some in the class I was covering had her as a teacher.)

Oh, the eyes of the students as I explained this. I don't think it had occurred to them (especially not the boy) that this sort of thing has ever happened. (It's been a few years, so it happened before their time in high school.)

And bonus, Ms. J popped into class a few times during the day. So, verification.

I prefer days when the kiddos postulate that their teacher went to Vegas. Or skiing. I prefer the fun lies (although, many times those aren't lies).

26 comments:

  1. My son's 4th grade teacher passed away during that school year. She had been out though for a bit fighting the cancer that returned, so it wasn't like it "happened overnight" if you know what I mean. I do remember him coming home saying they had announced her passing. A school counselor did die unexpectedly when son was still in grade school. It was weird because a week before he had done testing on son to see if he had a learning disability. That was a bit of a shock (the death, not the learning disability) Life does happen like this, though, doesn't it?

    betty

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  2. Both of my grandchildren have had to deal with a teacher's death and the death of a favorite school counselor. It is not an easy task for those left behind!

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    1. No, it's not. That first day, especially, is hard.

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  3. She won the lottery and quit!
    That would be really rough to deal with a teacher passing.

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  4. What?! Teachers totally do NOT play hooky and go on vacation. ;)

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  5. I have vague memories of one of my favorite teachers having taken maternity leave, and, as a result, not finishing the school year with us. I think this was 2nd grade & I sort of recall not really understanding why my teacher would not want (obviously my interpretation) to return to class.

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    1. Ah, maternity leave. A frequent occurrence.

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  6. Crazy kids. I bet they hadn't really considered that before he said it.

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    1. Probably not. Teens rarely think things all the way through. It's my job to point out the problems with their thinking.

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  7. Well, maybe she died and then came back to life and then died again :P.

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  8. One of my high school teachers got pregnant (this was back when a pregnant teacher had to stop working when she started to show. Yes, that's how old I am). I loved her and had even signed up for an elective class just to have her again. What a disappointment that was when she suddenly disappeared. Another one of my teachers in high school died suddenly, from a stroke, not long after the school year started. I had been in his class the previous school year. It was so hard, even though he wasn't my teacher anymore. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. Oh yeah, it's hard for anyone who ever had the teacher. That's why it's such a hard day on campus.

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  9. I never had a teacher die. But one did loose there spouse. I know one took a day off to sell some tupperware, I believe she used her personal day.
    Coffee is on

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    1. She only took one day off? My, the teachers are spoiled today ;)

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  10. OMG, that would be horrible to have to cover for a class when a teacher died. Glad that wasn't actually the case for you.

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    1. Yeah, it's a job I wouldn't want. I would hope that they'd put administrators in the class, at least for the first day.

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  11. Sad on the teacher who passed before. That would be hard to go through with the kids.

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  12. Hi Liz - well done on explaining the situation ... and giving the kids something to understand. I don't think I had a teacher die on me at school, but a couple of my class mates did - one in a car crash and one from leukaemia ... that was the worst as we used to see her family when we were in Cornwall ... I didn't fully understand, but we just absorbed and didn't really query ... over time one works it out.

    Cheers Hilary

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  13. That sounds like a sobering talk. Kids can be flippant about death, especially if it hasn't really affected them personally.

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  14. Haha. I love that some teachers sneak off to Vegas. I'm interested as to why the Maths teachers need so much inservicing now.

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    1. They're creating a new curriculum for the whole department. They bought a new program, and the teachers needed to get trained on it. And then they couldn't find a textbook they liked, so they created their own.

      Plus, this teacher is a master teacher, mentoring some newbies, which takes her out of class as well. (In other words, she's such a good teacher they need her out of class all the time.)

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  15. There was a teacher that went nuts to be politically incorrect. She had to go to a sanitarium but I never remember if a teacher died. That kid just like morbid and probably loves anything with a negative slant-Walking Dead, Tattoos with evil faces, etc...

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  16. That's kind of funny that you took the boy's lie to the extreme explaining in detail what all would happen if his teacher really was dead. I'm pretty certain he was just talking out of his butt and didn't think you would have a long explanation of how you knew he was wrong (aside from seeing the teacher before class started).

    Also, interesting to know how your school handles teacher deaths. I'm so glad to have never had that kind of experience.

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    1. "Pretty certain"? Nope, that's an absolute fact. Depending on the situation, I might just correct a student, but in this case he was insisting. And I was just in a mood...

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  17. One of my teachers died in my final year of high school and while some people found out about it before school, I did not. I'll never forget the walk into school and the feeling that something was off but not knowing what it was.

    We were all called into a whole school assembly where they told us the news. The Heads of Houses were there for us to speak to if we needed to.

    I only had two classes that day. One teacher's attitude was just to get on with things as normal, the other had a slightly more relaxed approach, and in my free periods the guys in the common room realised it had got to me (he was my English teacher and I was one of only three in that class) so they set about teaching me a card game. Definitely a strange sort of day.

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    1. It would be a weird day. It's hard to know what to do. What helps one person cope is the absolute wrong thing to do for another.

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