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Is That Chocolate or Poop?

If you looked at me at some point after 7:00 AM today, you would notice many splotches of brown all over my pants. Thankfully I don’t have to do the smell or taste test to see if it’s chocolate or poop—it’s chocolate sauce from a student’s frozen coffee beverage from this morning.

I pride myself on having an open and inviting classroom environment. I get to school early to work, and I welcome any students into my room after I arrive. It’s mostly a quiet space, and they can use a computer, print a document, or work with a partner on a project. School was a safe place for me growing up, so I think it’s my obligation to give that back to students today.

Around 7:00 AM, I announced to the students in my classroom that they had to get to first hour. I needed to visit a colleague, and it’s not good practice to leave students in your classroom unattended. So as I made my way to the door, another student arrived. Carrying two frozen drinks, she set them down on a desk. Little did we expect, one of the drinks slid off, hit the chair portion of the desk, and opened. The force of the drink hitting the chair sent chunks of the frozen concoction in every direction, including my pants.

I channeled the stoic in me. Accidents happen. I can get mad, but what would that solve? How would that fix the spill on my floor or help the student who clearly had an accident? It wouldn’t, so I instantly reached for the paper towel and we set out to clean up the drink.

I thought I had wiped my pants thoroughly. I thought I had gotten the whipped topping off my shoe. I thought I had wiped the chocolate smear on my pant leg enough. I thought I had gotten everything. I didn’t realize until later that the chocolate sauce was all around my ankles and sides until students pointed it out during a scheduled tornado drill during second hour.

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