Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Arachnophobia

Ms. P warned me about her 5th period. She explained that they had a packet of worksheets, and the way she described the assignment put me in mind of throwing steak at a pack of wolves hoping they won't devour me. 

It wasn't that bad. They were in assigned seats. They remained seated (mostly). But as for getting any work done...

Jose threw something at (to?) a neighbor. I told him to stop throwing things. He informed me he didn't "throw" it. He "flicked" it. Fine. Then I told him to not cause any object to fly through the air. Best to nip these things early.

His neighbor insisted that he needed a textbook for reference. Francisco then caused a run on the books, and in the frenzy, someone managed to knock over the instructional aide's tea. And make a mess.

Carlos volunteered to go and get paper towels from the restrooms. He returned with them... eventually...

It was pretty much a constant battle all period. Just when I'd get one student settled, another would insist that she just had to sit in a seat that was not hers. At least she saw reason when I pulled out the referral form.

Then someone spotted a spider.

And Jose and Francisco were on top of their desks. Quaking.

The thing was two rows away from them. But they would not come down from their desks.

Sigh.

Once the spider was disposed of, they eventually settled down. Were the big, bad boys afraid of a piddly little spider? Or were they taking advantage of a crazy situation? I have a hard time believing that they were actually afraid. 

At the end of the period, I managed to get them seated rather than lining up at the door. (I have a trick for this.) So, the entire class passed the last couple minutes by making bird sounds.

16 comments:

  1. I had a snake in my classroom once. One of the disadvantages of teaching in the middle of the wilderness, I suppose. But there he was, curled up under my desk.

    And here's the thing...I'm not snake-phobic, exactly, but I don't like snakes at all, but I had to be cool and not give in to the urge to run screaming in the opposite direction. Or join my students standing on their chairs.

    So I settled for being uncool and asking the social studies teacher to get it out for me.

    If it was a spider, I probably would have run away. I'm brave like that.

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  2. I shouldn't laugh, but your class description reminded me a little of Whack-a-mole. Every time you'd get one student settled, another pops up. I think the boys were a little over-dramatic. I'm terrified of spiders and even I wouldn't stand on a desk. Although, depending on the spider's size, I might run from the room.

    VR Barkowski

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  3. Another reason I stayed teaching 3rd graders.

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    Replies
    1. But I bet they didn't enjoy spiders in the classroom either. Then again, they might have found a spider cool.

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  4. Not a big fan of spiders. Depends on how big, and how fast they are. Not too big and not too fast and I might try and capture him and take him outside. Otherwise...well, lets just say things don't end well for the spider. Unless he was huge in which case I might've joined the boys on the desk.

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  5. I suspect the boys were acting as if they were afraid of the spider, though I will never know.

    I once had a big white bird flying around in my classroom for more than ten minutes, until it finally flew out of the window. I was scared, but pretended to be calm. It may sound strange to you, but all the students remained seated at their own desks, watching the bird carefully, and ducking their heads when it approached them. Some of them made a few comments about the bird, but no one was in a panic.

    I still don't know what kind of bird it was.

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    Replies
    1. I've heard of classes like that. I am in awe.

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  6. You never realized killing spiders was part of the job description when you signed up for this, did you?

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    1. I'm more of a put-the-spider-in-a-cup-and-move-it-outside kind of gal.

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  7. Spiders are scary! It could have killed them! It could have killed us ALL!!

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  8. Once again, I reiterate, I don't think they pay substitute teachers enough money for all they put up with. Its like herding cattle, trying to keep them on task and in their seats! I'm not afraid of spiders but know of people that are and while I too think the boys were being a bit melodramatic,I have known people to call their husbands and ask them to come home from work when seeing a spider.

    betty

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  9. I'd say they were actually afraid but my natural suspicion of young people (I'm always sure they're making fun of me for not being as cool as they are) makes me actually assume it was an act for attention.

    Bird sounds? Interesting.

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    1. Yeah, go with the attention instinct. In some cases, the kiddos are honest. Just not this one.

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  10. That sounds like my day Liz. We have a lizard that regularly runs through the classroom causing an excited riot every time. Boys will do anything for attention huh? I bet they weren't scared.

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    1. I think you have many of the same boys in your class.

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  11. Oh my-I would have had a headache by the end of that class. I am not sure how you do it. If they were scared of the spider....Good! Now I freak at spiders so I would have been out of my desk for sure. Good luck to you with all these students-I couldn't do it so I commend you

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