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The Fired And The Fabulous

| Learning | January 20, 2014

(I’m in the fourth grade. Our teacher, [Teacher #1], has a reputation as being the “makeup teacher.” She is always all made up with dramatic nails and makeup and has a massive supply of cosmetics in the classroom for frequent touch-ups. She is frightening to look at some days with her over-the-top style but is a very good teacher. There is a surprise fire drill, and since it hadn’t been previously announced as usual we all panic, assuming it’s the real deal. We all start to line up as trained and wait for the teacher’s word to leave the class when we see her rushing, arms full, from her supply cabinet to the door.)

Teacher #1: “What are you waiting for, kids? Go! Move!”

(With that she runs out to the hall and towards the door. We start to walk out, scared and confused. Thankfully, another teacher has witnessed the scene and walks us out to the designated meeting area. While outside our teacher finally finds us and runs over, her arms full with her purse, makeup bag, and numerous hair products.)

Teacher #1: “Did anybody grab the class register? I have to do a roll call to make sure we’re all here and I didn’t grab it. Did anybody take it? Are we all here? Why did you all just stand there like that? You could have all died! You’re supposed to get out of a burning building!”

(By this point several of us are starting to cry, still not aware that this was a fire drill and not the real deal. The fire trucks on site are not helping the situation. Finally, another teacher steps in.)

Teacher #2: “That’s enough. You’re scaring the poor kids.” *to us* “Guys, this was just a fire drill and you did the right thing. I was watching.”

Teacher #3: “That’s right. You lined up as you were supposed to. You didn’t take anything, and nobody panicked, ran back in, or pushed. You waited for your teacher to give the word to leave just as you were supposed to. You all did wonderfully and if there had been a fire you all would have been just fine. None of us would ever let any of you get hurt. Your teacher here just got a little scared, that’s all. Right, Miss [Teacher #1]?”

Teacher #1: “Well, they never announced we were having a fire drill! How was I supposed to know?”

Teacher #2: “It was unannounced to test our abilities to react under pressure. If there were a real fire there would be no announcement. These children depend on us to protect them and you were more worried about your hair!”

(At this point the principal comes up.)

Principal: “Miss [Teacher #1], where is your class register? And what is all this?! Makeup bag, hair spray, what is this?! You aren’t supposed to go back in for anything! What if this had been a real fire?”

Teacher #1: “I didn’t go back in. I brought this out with me. I thought—”

Principal: “You brought this out!? You bring nothing out! You take the class register, you line up your pupils, and you lead them out. Then you take roll call to ensure they are all here and alive. Now, where is your class register?”

Teacher #1: “I didn’t get it. I wasn’t ready! You never announced there was a fire drill today! This is unacceptable! How can I get my students out safely and be prepared if I don’t know what’s happening? We need to be warned in advance. You’re an intelligent woman. You understand. Right?”

Principal: “You want advance warning of a fire? If this had been a real fire there would be no warning for anybody. You need to be ready for anything. You… are you being facetious with me, ma’am? Are you pulling my leg?”

Teacher #3: “No, she’s completely serious. She thought there was a fire in the building, grabbed her makeup, and left the kids crying in the room, shouting back to them to get out and save themselves. Then she reprimanded them for not grabbing her class list and for waiting in line as they were trained to do.”

Teacher #1: “They just stood there! The place could have been in flames!”

Principal: “Lord help me, woman, you would drive the pope to a life of sin with your antics. I need to see you in my office during the lunch period.” *to us* “Children, you all did the right thing today. Please forgive your teacher for her lack of good judgment. She panicked but she is still your teacher. I expect you to continue to show her the respect and good behavior due to all your teachers here. Honestly, makeup and hair spray! Your class would have been toast and you would have looked fantastic. Unbelievable!”

This story is part of the Fourth Grader roundup!

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