What Am I Doing Wrong?

Back in the fall one of my little ones fell off the monkey bars and broke his arm at recess. It was highly traumatic because it was still pretty early in the year and this little guy was still learning English (still is, of course). In the midst of the pain and shock he refused to talk to his folks on the phone and refused to talk to the EMTs. The fabulous folks in the office got me in the hopes that I could calm him down. I don’t know if I did but luckily dad showed up shortly after me and that helped a lot. Dad went with him in the ambulance. Way better than a random adult from school.

This wasn’t the first time I’ve sent a kid away in an ambulance. Several years ago one of my little girls broke her arm at recess in quite a similar manner. Last year another darling girl had a serious asthma attack and had to go to the hospital.

Today I sent another child off in an ambulance. This was a new one for me though. Yesterday she pointed out to me that her lower lip was red. I thought it was chapped. In fact, another teacher gave her some balm for it. This morning she showed me again. We talked about how it can take a while to heal. She said, “Yeah. The last time this happened it took about ten days.” Made sense to me.

After lunch, during math, she was working with one of the most amazing instructional assistants. I was busy with a small group of kiddos but when I got up this fabulous woman pointed at the girl’s face. The red, chapped-looking bit was spreading up onto her cheeks. The IA thought it might be an allergic reaction. I agreed with her so she took the little sweetheart down to the clinic.

To my understanding, by the time they got to the clinic or briefly thereafter, this little girl’s lips and face were swelling up. We have a policy in place for this so an epi-pen was grabbed and administered. It sounds like her swelling and redness decreased significantly after that. I am exceptionally grateful to the woman in our office who administered the epi-pen. I can’t imagine that was an easy task for many reasons.

Again, when the EMTs arrive my little one was not exceptionally cooperative. This one didn’t clam up but instead, according to another staff member, “gave them what for.” She clearly did not want to be stabbed with something again and did not trust them.

Her older brother, high school age, arrived before the ambulance left and scooped her up and carried her out to it. He was fabulous from all accounts.

Four kids leaving school in an ambulance in four years. That seems an overly high number.

2 replies on “What Am I Doing Wrong?”

  1. Tim Stahmer says:

    Never had a student leave school in an ambulance but I did have one young man removed from my class in handcuffs. Two policemen (with an AP) came to my door and arrested him for “vehicular assault”, which translated to him trying to run over another student in the school parking lot. Never a dull moment teaching in a high school. 🙂

    • jenorr says:

      Wow, Tim, that puts things into perspective for me! I can’t imagine. I’ve had to deal with police as a teacher, but usually because of concern about my kiddos, not because they’ve done something wrong. (I did have one kid in 5th grade that was cyberbullying to an extent that we had to involve the police.)

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