Sunday, March 15, 2009

The causal agent of my frustration

Because of budget issues, my school is no longer hiring subs, which means that whenever a classroom teacher dares to call in sick, we out-of-classroom teachers get pulled to cover their classes. (This has been pretty common for a while now, but it's become even more so since our administration forbade teachers from calling SubCentral.) Recently someone pointed out to me that they always seem to pull literacy AIS, never math or ESL teachers, which is a good point especially since we're right in the middle of running records and I am never going to finish if I keep getting pulled for coverages...but I digress!

Last week, I was covering the class that includes William and Jonathan, easily the most difficult to manage behaviorally of my five classes. And to make a long story short, Jonathan cut another student with a pair of scissors, and I spent my entire lunch period filling out incident reports and injury reports and calling parents and notifying guidance counselors.

So I'm filling out this injury report, marking off the little codes that indicate that the injury occurred in the classroom and the specific activity taking place was "sitting." And then I come to the little box for "causal agent." Now, I'm thinking that scissors are probably a pretty common causal agent in classroom injuries, right? So I'm searching among the many codes for "scissors" or at least, like, "classroom supplies," because I'm sure plenty of school injuries can be chalked up to kids stabbing each other in the eye with pencils or gluing their hands together, right?

There's no place to list "scissors." I can choose "medical waste." I can choose, like, "bloodborne pathogens." I'm debating whether or not to list the causal agent as a "penetrating object," and in my mind I'm weighing that against the $.99 Band-Aid that cured the victim, so I finally give up and just put "other."

Later in the day I was paged over the loudspeaker while I was in the hallway, so I ducked into the classroom and called the number I had been paged to, but no one answered, and when I finally got through, I was asked if the victim of the scissors incident had seen the nurse (which he had), and as soon as I answered, the office hung up.

Oy vey.


Anonymous said...

Our districts are still hiring subs. I am a substitute teacher, and the jobs go quickly. With the economy, there are a lot of subs available. As a retired teacher, I know how it feels to be overwhelmed with all of the stress of getting everything done. Hang in there!

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