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Welcome to kindergarten! Join me as I share my experiences in the classroom, my professional learning and reflections and my love of teaching. Teaching is an exciting journey - come along as I share mine!


Thursday, March 14, 2013

It Happened Again!

I have a fear as a teacher.  If I'm going to be honest, I have more than one, but the big one (just slightly bigger than vomit) is having a child get lost.  I'm not just talking about during field trips either.

The first time I encountered this issue was during this past summer.   My fellow kindergarten teachers and I run a summer program for a week during the summer for the incoming kindergarten students.  I had my hands full with my group of students, but the kicker came when my little five year old pumpkin L decided she wanted to go home.  She took off and walked home (about 3 blocks from the school-crossing two parking lots and two streets).  Not only did she sneak off, but she managed to do it by getting past about 8 adults without any of us noticing.  We found her, of course, but not before my blood pressure went through the roof.

Fast forward about 7 months.

I was sitting in the office today working on my computer issues with our guru when my student teacher brought L into the office.

"She's out of control and needs a break.  She's also trying to run away from me today." my student teacher said.  "Can you watch her in here until the principal comes in?"

So we did.  And she sat quietly for about 10 minutes.  I left to run to my classroom for a minute while the computer guru talked to a parent in the office doorway.  L asked if she could use the bathroom.  The guru told her she'd walk her to the bathroom in just a minute when she was done talking.

When I returned to the office, maybe two minutes later, L was gone.

First plan...check the bathrooms.  She probably decided to walk by herself.

Nothing.

Second plan...canvas the school.  She must be hiding somewhere.

Nothing.

Third plan...do a sweep of the playground and a sweep of the parking lot.

Nothing.

All para educators were looking for her.  All teachers were alerted.  Staff that wasn't teaching at that moment were all searching.  All hands on deck.

Nothing.

Fourth plan...search the school again, top to bottom.  Principal jumped in his truck and started driving the neighborhood.  Staff began to look in each car in the parking lot in case she climbed in.

After about 15-20 minutes of searching, L was located.  In the tiny space between the copy machine and the wall in the copy room.  In the office.  Where we had already searched under all the desks and behind all the doors, but not behind the copy machine.

Needless to say, she spent the rest of the day at home in the care of her mother because, as my principal put it, we "aren't going to babysit her all day."

The downside: I can now say I have lost and found the same child twice.
The upside: The way the staff responded with calm, quick action was fantastic and makes me feel good to be a part of it.

12 comments:

  1. I think your post may give me a nightmare. Luckily this has never happened to me. But I can see how easily it could. Take a deep breath! Isn't it said that the thing you do not worry about is the thing that will get you. I'm glad you have a calm and cooperative staff.

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  2. Oh no! What a handful little L is! What a supportive team you work with! Thankfully this ended well. May your evening be restful.

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  3. After reading this, I am glad that I will have middle schoolers tomorrow!! They are a lot bigger and can't fit in between the copy machine and the wall!!

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  4. Wow! She must be quite a character. I will never forget the fear I felt when my daughter (about age 4) did a disappearing act in a clothing store. The entire staff of the store was helping me look for her when we found her giggling in the center of a clothes rack.

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  5. Oh Robin, this is a frightening experience! I'm glad it all turned out okay and she is a stinker. I'm glad the principal sent her packing for the day. It's clear she was not going to cooperate.

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  6. First of all, you have my sympathy. It sounds like this little one might need more attention than a "regular" kindergarten can provide. Kindergarten is NOT babysitting--has anyone seen the CCSS? Geez.

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  7. You left out the part where the secretary paged her to come to the office to get her picture taken, that was such a good idea! What five year old doesn't want a moment in the spotlight. Then the secretary came back over the PA to alert staff that "she GOT her picture taken." This was a relief to hear since everyone in the building knew she was missing and that was code for, we found her. Whew!

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  8. Oh my gosh! What an experience. Thank goodness everyone pitched in and you found her. I am curious to know if she was listening to all the commotion that was going on about her disappearance,

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  9. Thank goodness she was found safe and sound. My biggest fear was my water breaking in class during my pregnancies (thought you might need a chuckle as a break from the serious).

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  10. Holy cow! I was with you every step of the way. Didn't breathe till the end.

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  11. Whew-I know your heart must have been pumping fast! I've had a couple of occasions like that. Early in my career (1st grade), just like your student earlier, I had a student decide to go home. We didn't miss her for a while, then boom, I noticed she wasn't in class. She managed to get all the way home! Luckily, her mom was there, but we had called the police. And, I had a student (middle school) walk out before even coming in to school. I didn't lose him, but he went back ways & it was hours before he was found-big scare that one. You are right-every teacher's worst fear. Thanks for sharing Robin.

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  12. Losing a child while in public is a great fear of mine. I like how you described the sweeping of the premises. So organized.

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