Lost In the Woods

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So today marks a new one in my books. The first day ever that I lost a child… Yep, that’s right; I’m the teacher that all parents run from and hide their children at home because of. Apparently, I am an awful, neglectful person. 

Okay, so not really. There are other details to this circumstance that make me not neglectful as much as simply a weak person physically. But enough said about me, back to the story…

The last day of school for our seniors was today. We have been done learning content for a few days now, and everyone wanted to do something special for the students who would no longer be returning to sit in class with us. So, since we are on a rotational schedule of A and B days, we did something special with the kids that I taught yesterday and then again today we did something special with the other group.

Yesterday was all fine and dandy. One of the Juniors and Sophomores lovingly opened up their wallets and bought a pizza for their senior friends. (They were even nice enough to share a slice with me!) Though no one dared touch the hot pepper that was sent with the pizza (why do they send them anyway), we ate the entire thing, sat around outside, chatted, and looked at some old photos of the seniors from when they were in elementary school. It was great. In fact, I was hoping for an equally awesome experience with my students again today, but luck would have none of it…

Today the students decided that they wanted to walk down to the stream. Sounds fun right? I’m one of those farm/country girls who don’t mind walking around barefoot in a stream and getting a little dirty… but I was in my work clothes and didn’t even have an extra set of hiking shoes. 

We took the twenty minute walk anyway, as the kids were super excited about going. Unfortunately, by the time we got to the stream, half the kids were already down the stream and around a bend where I could not see them. Though another teacher was there as well, neither of us had planned to walk through the water unless we absolutely had to. So… there I went, right down the stream to chase after a bunch of students who should know better than to run off like that. 

After climbing under 2 logs and over about 5 more, I balanced my way across a final log and got stuck in some muddy pit. Luckily, I was able to catch up to most of the kids at this point, but some of them were still missing. Hence the whole idea behind this story.

Thank God none of our students ever listen to our cell phone policy. They all know they aren’t supposed to have their cell phones on them, but had they not kept them in their pockets (and turned on at that), we never would have found the stragglers who got lost in the woods. 

Okay, so they weren’t even really lost, but they were at least 20 minutes away from my location at the time, and I was the closest teacher to their area. 

Needless to say, this adventure was nerve-wracking for me. I learned quite a few things too…

1) I never want to have kids who might wander off, disappear, etc. I thought I freaked out today when the kids were teenagers, but I’d hate to even think about my reaction if the person was actually a child!

2) I should apologize to my parents for all those times that I thought it would be awesome to try to hide in the clothing racks at the stores. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I was ever successful at really hiding, but even the fact that the thought crossed my mind makes me feel so bad now. 

3) I have zero regrets about giving a test that the students were not expecting once we got back to school. Serves them right. Now I just need to determine whether it’s better to grade them harshly or to hold them as leverage. Which one sounds more evil? Do I want it to be more evil or less? Hmm…

4) Finally, I will NEVER visit the stream again! Between the 20 minute hike to and from, the missing students, the pollen, my allergies, and my asthma… I think I almost died. 

Let’s just say I’ll cross this one off of the bucket list of things that I want to experience in my life, but never more than once! Not that I knew it was on the list to begin with but it sounded like a good idea when someone brought it up to me…

~Me

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