First Year Teacher: The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

It was my first year at Woodlawn Elementary and I had a perfectly perfect fourth grade class. I loved my classroom, too, with its long row of big windows, its blackboard, and huge bulletin board areas. It was a great year, overall. But one day in January, everything went wrong!

I was dressed in a luxurious cashmere sweater – white as the first snowfall – and a tailored black skirt. Of course, I wore stockings and heels – yes, heels! I wore a lot of black and white combinations (still do), and I thought I looked very professional, even classy! And then it happened. I had slid onto one of the student wooden chairs to confer with Laura, and when I stood up, my nylon caught in a sliver of wood. Not only did I have a run, I had a large hole!

To my dismay, the day’s events continued to spiral to a low level. At lunch break, I carried some sheets back from the work area that had the mimeograph machine for dittos. When I placed the pile of dittos and copies on my desk, I realized I had a purple ditto streak across my beautiful white sweater! 

Could things get any worse?  I proceeded to stand on a chair to hang student samples on the bulletin board, and when I stepped down, one seam of my fitted back skirt opened. Now I had I hole on the side of my skirt, too.

Oh, but to finish the day, the kids had hooked up their stream tables kits to the faucet in the sink at the back of the room. The elaborate system of tubes ran water of various colored dyes – fascinating – until the tubes started to come apart once again (this was the third time the kids had tried such a system), and water was – once again – all over the tiled floors.

My principal asked to speak to me for a minute at the end of the day. He asked me not to get so much water on the floor – the custodial staff complained that the tiles were staring to loosen.  Then he looked at me and with a little smile he asked, “Lynne, do you know you are only wearing one earring?”  I reached up to check, and sure enough, my gold hoop was missing from my right ear. I think I blushed scarlet and mumbled a “Thank you, I didn’t know.” 

So that was my terrible, horrible day.  I just thanked my lucky stars that I made it home in one piece!