Reflections of a New Teacher

These are my reflections beginning from my first few days as a student teacher and on...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Ralph S. Mouse

It all started about a week ago when I was in the classroom next door and the 1st grade teacher and I saw something little and dark brown skitter across the floor in a flash. It disappeared somewhere around her couches. She really doesn't like mice, so she gave a little "eek!" and ran around trying to figure out what to do. I tried not to laugh and to be more sympathetic... for some reason mice don't scare me. They only annoy me sometimes when they chew things up, make a mess and leave droppings where they made the mess. I figure they're a lot more afraid of me than I am of them anyway.

After we searched for the mouse for quite some time, the 1st grade teacher left a note to the custodian that went something like this:

"Eeeeeeek! A mouse is in my classroom! Let's set traps!"

I thought it was cute. By this time she was laughing a lot too and we had been there pretty late so we were both pretty hysterical.

We decided that it must have been fate that it was only that day that I had started reading "The Mouse and the Motorcycle" to our second grade class for read aloud. I've secretly named our mouse Ralph, but the other teachers don't want to name it because they're afraid we'll become attached to it. Did we call on Ralph to come visit us?

We've had Ralph sightings almost every afternoon since. Usually, for some reason, I'm the one who sees him. They set the spring traps with peanut butter, but they weren't working. The custodian thinks ants are eating the peanut butter... we think it's a smart mouse licking it off.

New traps are on order, but I still say that we should just make a 2-liter bottle trap. We used to do it all the time when I was a kid... take an empty 2-liter bottle, put some food at the bottom of it, set it up on its side and make sure it's easy to get into. Voila... the mouse crawls in to get the food, but then he can't get out because the sides are too slick. Then... you can either be humane and take it outside and let him out... or put the cap on and put it in the trash. It usually works really well. Oh well.

Yesterday after snack there were a lot of crumbs on the floor. My cooperating teacher asked them to clean up the crumbs "So we don't get mice or ants or anything". Since we're reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle, of course half of the kids made remarks like, "That would be soooo cool!" Little do they know... we haven't told them yet.

It turns out my cooperating teacher doesn't like the mouse at all either. Yesterday I saw him but managed not to let her know until a student who was helping us after school was gone because I didn't want her to have to get upset in front of the student. He's getting braver every afternoon... this afternoon I saw him run across the room from the bookshelf behind my desk (which is by the partition that separates our classroom from 1st grade) to the sink, then back again, then back again... needless to say this did not make my cooperating teacher happy. For the remainder of the evening she stomped and clapped to hopefully deter him from making an appearance.

I'll keep you updated on Ralph. Sorry to say that the next update will probably be a little mouse obituary if the new traps come in.


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