Returning to work after a week-long illness-inspired hiatus, I became involved in friendly chatter with the school director.
“Here’s Cyndi! We missed you for so long,” the director said.
“I missed all of you. I would rather be here than sick at home,” I replied.
Our cordial exchange fulfilled, I set out to sign the staff log sheet. But, not before a young student sitting at the table made a crucial announcement of epic proportions.
“I have whooping cough.” She offered in the most blasé tone.
“WHAT?!” The director and I expressed our communal surprise…no, our shock (see, The Art Of Swearing).
“Yeah, I just went on vacation with my family, and I forgot my medicine.” Imagine all the cruise ship tourists or amusement park visitors taking whooping cough home with their other souvenirs. Oh, this revelation just got exponentially more formidable. Following this dramatic interlude, our director called the girl’s mom.
From the director’s end, mom heard, “She can leave now.”
Sound familiar? It’s universal.
At that moment every other teacher grabbed a supply of antiseptic wipes and set about wiping down pencils, scissors, light switches, and table tops. The school guinea pig narrowly escaped the indignity of being wiped down.
Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. Dear mom & dad, “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!”
One of the first things we are taught in our journey through school is the importance of sharing and acting with thoughtfulness toward one another. Be thoughtful. Don’t share bacteria. Welcome back to the classroom.