The time has come for the *drumroll* First Annual Education Awards. Some deserve applause, some deserve scrutiny, and some deserve to just be taken as a warning.
1. Most Unique Names I've Encountered in Teaching
Female: Aqua Net, spelled just like the hairspray.
Male: Huevos, which in Spanish is a double meaning word. Its regular meaning is eggs, which is how this scrambled egg loving boy picked up his nickname in early toddler-hood. However, huevos is also a well known slang word for male body parts.
Everyone, including his parents, called him Huevos. HE asked to be called Huevos. I, though, could only bring myself to call him by his given name. My history of inappropriate laughter would have made an appearance at some point during the school year had I called him by the nickname.
Honorable Mention: A science teacher who was a colleague my first years of teaching, Mr. Boobie admirably weathered many giggles about his name at the beginning of each school year.
2. Longest Field Trip, Ever
Four hours away from school, after a day at the zoo with the entire middle school (all 76 students and teachers) packed into one bus, a student took ill and we had to divert to an ER. With no other place late at night to house all the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders but the bus in the hospital parking lot, and directed by admin to wait with the student at the ER until parents could drive the four hours to get there, we used every trick in our exhausted arsenal to keep the restless middle schoolers entertained.
This field trip is still memorialized in solemn tones by new teachers the way the landing at Normandy is revered by soldiers.
3. Best Saving of a Life During a Faculty Meeting
An administrator regularly awed by his own talents demonstrated the use of the new laminating machine. While the two cylinders slowly rolled laminating film under him, he continually cautioned that we needed to always pay attention while using it as he did not want any more workman's comp claims.
He suddenly coughed and his face turned red as his head ducked lower. A quick thinking aide jumped up and with a giant pair of scissors speedily clipped off the bottom 2/3 of his tie that was scrolling through the laminator rolls. The plaid tie came out neatly laminated on the other side even as the faculty erupted in applause for the aide and the irony.
4. Most Novel Approach to a Bomb Threat
My first year of teaching, the fire drill signal interrupted the early morning routines. All classes filed out to the football field. Once there, an administrator spoke to each teacher quietly. "We've had a bomb threat phoned in. The kids will stay here on the field with us, but you go back into your rooms and look for anything unusual, you know, anything that looks like a bomb. If you see something that looks like a bomb, come back out and tell us."
5. Most Unusual Injury
A new teacher with a classroom near mine was young, cute, and sweet, but sometimes threw common sense to the wind. In the workroom one morning before school, she lamented the wrinkles on the front of her white linen blouse. Her face brightened when she remembered she had a travel iron in her car and scurried out to get it before the first bell rang.
A bit later the nurse rushing past me to the new teacher's room caused me to follow. There, the young teacher sheepishly explained she hadn't thought to take the blouse OFF before she ironed out the wrinkles.
I will be out of town later this week, my friends, and I do not know if I will have Wifi. I will catch up with you all next week, though, if I don't. I hope you find all the wonderful things you deserve this week!