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Monday, November 29, 2010

Stapled Kid…

I was working in a 4th grade classroom and in the middle of a lesson when a tiny Asian boy came up and asked to go to the office.

Me: Can it wait till recess?
Kid: No, I stapled myself.

Now, I’ve had enough experience with almost all kinds of excuses to take a little walk to the office for every known “imagined trauma” known to kid-kind. This sounded like the “I got a paper cut, call the EMTs!!” variety.

I wasn’t going to annoy the office because of a minor “injury” like this. A cursory look showed it wasn’t even bleeding. Though one end of the staple was still sticking in the end of his finger, I was sure that simply pulling it out wouldn’t hurt and he’d be fine.

Me: Why are we playing with the stapler? We are supposed to be reading a story.
Kid: I thought it was broken and tried to fix it. I need to go to the office.

The kid is starting to appear a bit pale as I took a closer look at the injury. He had not only stuck himself in the finger with a staple, he had managed to put the staple completely through and out the other fleshy side of his finger! The boy is quivering and looking a bit green. I think he’s gonna faint on me!

Me: Go! Go now and take a friend with you.

The last thing I wanted was for the kid to faint half way to the office. I called to let them know the situation and that I had sent someone to go with him to make sure he got there.

At recess, I received an update call from the office letting me know that the staple was successfully removed by the school nurse and that the grandparents were coming to take him home. The grandparents wanted also to stop by the classroom to “inspect the stapler”. I could only wonder what answers to questions they might have from examining a common kid sized stapler.

My guess was the grandparents actually wanted to “inspect” the incompetent substitute teacher that would let their grandson become mutilated by negligently operating dangerous industrial office machinery.

So, after inspecting the kid sized finger sticker, the grandparents and the boy had a short discussion in native dialect. The boy didn’t want to go home and convinced his grandparents he could stay the rest or the day.

Tomorrow’s lesson: “Electric outlets and metal paperclips – a no, no!”


J E Fritz said...

Oh, that happened to a kid in my fourth grade class, so don't think you're a terrible teacher (he was so freaked out he had to go to the hospital! You must have tougher students). Accidents happen all the time, especially when kids want to fix something they don't know anything about. I'm glad he was okay!

Kat said...

I feel queasy just thinking about it.

Mister Teacher said...

You just never know what kids are going to do. My wife actually had a kid in her class last year who had pulled out the metal wire from a spiral notebook, and he got it stuck IN HIS EYEBALL!!

Anonymous said...

I had a girl pierce the earlobe of a classmate using an earring she found on the playground.

Another time, a girl returned from tutoring in another classroom with a sticky trap (used to catch insects and mice) stuck to the side of her face. When asked why she had the sticky trap, the girl said she had been "helping the other teacher". After some pondering, I decided against asking the other teacher (who had the reputation as being highly assertive and odd) what they were doing with the sticky trap. Luckily, the trap came off with a minimal loss of skin, and her mother took the incident in stride, and with a laugh!!

KauaiMark said...

(I think I can see where this comment thread is going...)

"Can You Top THIS?"

The Bus Driver said...

I stapled two of my fingers together (left thumb and left forefinger) one afternoon playing with a stapler I saw in the office at the elementary school, where I was waiting for my mother to be done with being secretary/substitute for the day. I forget how old I was but I couldn't have been much older than 4th or 5th grade.

Helen said...

I will never again go home thinking that I had a bad day just because I sent students to the office for fighting!