The day started with an email. Our intrepid leader sent out the draft of the plan with aiding a non-responsive victim we may find. She told us about this drill a month ago, and it can help us know what to do in an emergency. It’s a great idea, but I still felt the need to be facetious this morning.
I ran into one of our vice principals, a former social studies teacher, and I couldn’t resist a little fun. I asked him, “What if the non-responsive person is in a social studies class? Isn’t he just sleeping?”
HaHaHa. Karma sucks. We had the drill today. Outside of my classroom. I was the first one on the scene. This is how it played out:
“BEEP!” The tardy bell rings. Students were already getting laptops out to finish their revisions of an essay. Louis was asking me for help because he has a propensity for writing run-on-sentences you know the kind that never seem to stop or utilize any punctuation what-so-ever.
Then, this stranger, a thirty-something woman with a clipboard, enters my class. I see many badges, the kind schools, businesses, and hospitals give out that are difficult to read, yet give some people the sense that this person is safe and belongs here. I didn’t fall for it. I did not recognize her, and I grabbed the only weapon a good English teacher has: my red pen.
“There is an unresponsive victim in the hallway,” says Miss Stranger.
I get up and proceed to go to the hallway. As I step through the doorway, she informs me, “It’s only a dummy.”
Seeing four students entering my class tardy, I ask, “Which one?” I notice through the corner of my bad eye that she smiles.
I approach the dummy. It is the upper torso. I choose to not alarm the woman, but I know he is not going to make it. I follow our written procedures: I yell for one of my students to run to the office as I pull out my cell phone and call the office. I call and get a voicemail. I call again and get an administrative assistant and let her know what the emergency is, where it is, and to call 911. Of course, I mention that it is a drill because I have no idea if Miss Clipboard has told anyone. next, we here the announcement for a lockdown.
She asks me if I know CPR; my certification expired years ago. Another teacher arrives; she does not know CPR either. The nurse arrives and begins CPR. The AED arrives and the nurse works to save the dummy. The drill is over.
We learned that we had some flaws in our plan. I did what was written; however, I should have told my student to get another teacher. I should have told the teacher to push the emergency button in the classroom and inform the office of the emergency. When the lockdown occurred, the teachers in nearby classrooms stayed with their students, as we have been taught to do, and did not come outside to help. We learned some other things, too. However, these lessons apply more to me. Soon though, all of us will be trained in CPR and be able to do more than yell for help.
When I explained to my students what happened, I said it was like the first draft we wrote. We will look at what we did wrong, make improvements, and do it again. It became a great teachable moment.