March 3, 2010

Paper Clips, Electrical Plugs and Third Graders Don't Mix.

My students learned a very important life lesson on Monday. However, let me preface this story by filling you in on some other memorable happenings that have taken place this year.

-Student A threw up ALL over himself, desk, and floor.
-Student B peed her pants and left a gigantic puddle on the chair and floor.
-Student C swallowed a magnet.

And now, this experience with Student D tops all of those, ten-fold...

We were having our usual read aloud time after lunch. The students gather on the floor in a designated corner of the room. There is a kidney bean shaped table against the wall, which students like to sit on or under. Well, Student D was lying on the table, with his head near the wall; right where a half circle of the table is cut away. (Meaning he can stick his arms down this opening.) I'm reading aloud "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane" (good book!) when all of a sudden D jumps off the table clutching his hand and screaming, "IT BURNS!!!!!!!" I look at the palm of his hand and it is all black, and the room has instantly started to stink of burnt something, and the kids are all freaking out, and I am utterly confused and ask, "How on earth did you BURN yourself?!?!" And he looks at me, says nothing, and then starts screaming again. So, I promptly send him to the office for burn cream. As soon as he leaves I ask the kids if anyone saw what happened and then a few of them say they saw a bunch of sparks all of a sudden. Well, I pull back the table and to my horror, find paperclips intricately woven into the electrical outlet. You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Of course, within 5 minutes I have the janitor, principal, and vice-principal all in my room to see the crime scene.

Apparently, D told them he didn't do anything to burn himself. It just happened... Then he finally said he "Barely touched a paper clip to the outlet." I wish I had a picture of it. The clip was unwound, stuck in both sides, and twisted around itself. I am completely baffled as to how he accomplished that without getting shocked sooner.

About half an hour later D came back to the room and thankfully, with his hand washed, it wasn't black anymore. He had bandages on his fingers though, but other than that was completely fine (thank goodness!) Later I asked him why he thought that would be a good idea and his reply was this: "I wanted to see if metal really does conduct electricity." Oh. wow.

The paper clip was melted into the outlet so the janitor had to replace the whole thing. And by the end of the day the entire school knew. Good grief. And of course I had a very serious talk my students about how you never, ever, ever, EVER put anything in the outlets and that D is lucky to be alive, and if any of them go near any of the outlets in the room I will kill them... or something like that. :)
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Brent and Nicole Wilcox said...

LOL, kids are awesome aren't they! I am enjoying aspects of them in my job as well. The other day I was working with a kid and he asked if I was married. I told him I was and he proceeded to tell me how lucky I was. (Me knowing I am lucky but him not knowing Brent I asked why i was so lucky) His answer "because once you're married you don't have to go to school anymore and I hate school so much..." He was SHOCKED I still went to BYU after I got married. He now asks about Brent every day... Hope you are doing well, your pregnant pics are so cute!

Jamie Blake said...

Oh mt goodness, the stories you tell about your teaching! I love it! Sounds like there is never a dull moment in your classroom.

Jami said...

HORRIFYING! I can't imagine as a teacher what terror you must have felt at that moment. And then to have the principal, janitor, etc. in your room scoping things out. Crazy kid! Your WHOLE class will always remember that yes, metal is definitely a conductor of electricity, and it is best to steer clear of shoving metal into outlets.

You are an angel to handle the situation so patiently!

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