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The Great Classroom Cockroach Chase

The Great Classroom Cockroach Chase

Mrs. Mimi

The following little tidbit is going to outline “one of those days” when I wonder what I am doing and how this wasn’t included in my job description. But I guess if we just stuck to our job descriptions, nothing would get done!!

Picture it. It’s morning meeting. One of my favorite times during the school day. Frequently I am a bit cross in the morning. I get up at 5a.m. (which should be illegal), shower and get dressed in the dark (I am the best wife ever), and then drive 45 minutes to work while simultaneously snarfing down an egg and cheese sandwich (my reward for getting up so early and simultaneously my personal downfall) and coffee (elixir of the gods). Therefore, by the time I roll up to school, am barked at by the secretary (I like to imagine it’s her special way of greeting me since I have never been ANYTHING BUT NICE to her), and climb the flight of stairs up to my classroom, I’m a feeling a bit unfriendly. Thank goodness my little friends come in each morning and dutifully form a circle on the carpet and shake hands, saying “good morning” to one another. Seriously, there have been moments where I feel tears welling up (I know, terribly uncool but true. I am not all badass).

Anyway, we are passing around our morning greeting as I sip on my lovely and warm Chai Tea Latte when I notice that W. is leaning so far into his neighbor that he is practically in her lap. Small shrieks of fear erupt from the corner of the rug.

Me: What’s going on? W. what are you doing? (inner monologue: dude, do not interrupt the latte and adorable hand shaking…I will rain all over your parade)

W: Um, there’s a bug.

Me: Oh, well that’s not a big deal, it’s not going to bother you. It’s probably more afraid of you than you are of it.

As I utter these words of age old wisdom (that I totally recognize as absolute bullshit), I notice that the “bug” to which W. refers is actually a three inch massive COCKROACH.

W: Ok, Mrs. Mimi.

And bless his heart, my little friend turns, shakes his neighbor’s hand and in a quavering voice stammers, “Good morning, B.”

W. and B. then proceed to glance at the COCKROACH about three hundred times in 2 minutes all the while maintaining a look of barely contained panic. I watch as the bug in question scampers (those suckers move fast!!) over toward the group and then dances away, almost teasing us with his presence. W. and B. are desperately inching their way farther onto the carpet while I think to myself – what am I doing to these poor boys? I mean, if it were me, I would be OUT OF HERE!! So I quickly rally and say:

“Ok, bring it in. We’ve got to take care of our visitor.”

Now that I have brilliantly drawn everyone’s attention to our guest, general terror sets in as children scramble in my direction. Clearly, I have remained as far from the COCKROACH as possible and intend to continue to do so.

Me: Ok W., why don’t you save the day. I want you to be our exterminator and kill the bug.

W: Really? I get to step on it?

Me: Please do. Knock yourself out sweets.

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W. then springs to life and begins to run in circles around the group of desks nearest to the carpet in hot pursuit of the COCKROACH. There is general cheering from the class and I start to think that maybe I can turn this into a morale boosting/team building moment. Leave it to the inner-city schoolteacher to try to turn our infestation into a teachable moment. As I turn my attention back to the scene at hand, I notice that the bug is still alive and W. is still running in circles. Damn, I had no idea cockroaches could run so fast.

And then the moment comes. In a move of sheer athleticism, W. leaps over the leg of a chair and corners the COCKROACH. He raises his foot. The cheers of the classroom reach an insanely inappropriate decibel. W. begins to lower his foot and a hush falls over the room, anxiously awaiting the impending crunch of exoskeleton. But…

W. (who is a boy) screams like a girl and runs the other way at the last second.


Me: (over the cries and jeers of several children) B!! Go help him!! Get the bug!!

B. leaps up and within moments the COCKROACH is dead.

Phew. As I create a chalk-outline around the carcass (because I am clearly not going to dispose of it and don’t want everyone trying to step on it all day), I begin to wonder exactly how I am putting my master’s degree to use…Hmmm.

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