Wednesday, December 10, 2008

We didn't start the fire!

Catchy title? I sure hope so because this is a great story.... I had been planning this big lesson for my students to be tested on their knowledge of following directions and understanding fractions by having them bake chocolate chip cookies. Seemed like a good idea; at least for my class.... So as many of you know I am now in 6th grade working with the awesome team that trained and motivate me through my student teaching year. Mr. Mitchell, my awesome mentor, has a new student teacher this year, Santos Marquez. Santos is very unique, fun, friendly, and forgetful. This is where the real story begins.... Yesterday, was my students test for fractions and all 6th grade classes had decided to allow their students make cookies as well. Santos came in and helped my class prepare the cookies and he also baked them for my class. They surprisingly turned out amazing and really exact to the recipe. Santos then took the recipe to his class and they followed the directions as well, as far as I was aware it was going extremely well. My class had just finished enjoying their cookies when the fire alarm went off. We had many drills before but usually we are warned when it is a drill and it is usually not during lunch time. My students of course looked to me and wanted to know if they should in fact line up. I gather them up and we grab the emergency bucket and start filing out by the time we get down stairs most students are evacuating the building. I see students filing out with lunch trays in their hands and many classes lined up and worried about where the alarm came from. I hear my principal get on the intercom and announce it was a false alarm and they found the source of the problem; which was great there was only one issue.... The 2nd graders never heard the announcement and no one bothered to let them know. Apparently they were out on the field in the snow with no coats on since we really press the students to leave everything behind. Eventually they heard the news and came in icicles and all. It was really sad and hilarious at the same time. Here is the reason the alarm went off... Santos had taken his classes cookies to both faculty rooms on the upper and lower floor of the school. We are on the top floor and he had forgotten he had some down on the lower floor until it was too late. He realized he had left them in their too long and ran downstairs, he opened the door only to find the room engulfed in smoke and a woman pulling the cookies out of the oven with her hand and then runs towards him to flee the room. Santos then enters and tries to save what may be left of his cookies at this point since the kids can run out and the cookies can't. The alarm then goes off and he runs to the office to alert the staff of the reason for the alarm. Eventually everything was put back into control everywhere in the school but the upstairs faculty room. All the upper grade teachers had known what had happened and were in a hilarious mood about it. I remember such jokes as "Boy Santos you sure know how to light a fire under the kids," "Way to 'spark' their interests," "Way to motivate the kids to do something," and "Nice job at smoking out those who won't succeed in school." Santos was actually pretty good about it. I told him how he was a legend and all Howard's student teachers usually do something stupid to be remembered by. For example, my last day with my students I was the one who ripped the front of my pants open in the middle of the party the kids had for me. Not to mention the student teacher before me who had his student's write an anonymous notes about how his teaching went throughout the year. That one turned out bad. All in all this was definitely an experience to remember. Thank you Santos!