This spring is turning out to be stellar for me as an elementary school teacher. First of all, St. Patrick’s Day fell on a weekend AND over spring break–NO PINCHING! No leprechaun traps, no mess, and (it bears repeating) no pinching!! Then came the realization that April Fools’ Day is on SUNDAY!! No birds on my head! No shoelace untied! I was in teacher heaven. Until…
I realized that also meant I wasn’t going to be able to pull any tricks on them, either. I really, really like practical jokes and pranks. I hate to miss my chance.
And then after school yesterday afternoon, inspiration hit. We have been receiving critters for our science unit in boxes marked “Live animals. Open immediately!” Yesterday, a package of milkweed bug eggs was delivered to our room. My instructions say to let the kids investigate and decide for themselves what the little yellow things in the vial are, so I didn’t open the box while they were still at school, and didn’t tell them what was inside. After school, I opened it up and took care of the eggs to prepare for our lesson today. As I was bringing the box to the recycling bin, I thought…”What if?”
I put the box on the floor, wide open, with the packing material strewn all around it. When the kids came in this morning, I followed them through the door and then gasped, “Oh no! It got out!!”
Chaos. (Ha ha!!) They froze. They backed away. They jumped up on chairs. They peppered me with questions–“What was in there? How did it get out? Where did it go? WHERE IS IT? WHAT IS IT?”
Struggling to keep a straight face, I answered their questions vaguely and kept up the sense of alarm. They somehow managed to get their coats put away and get to their desks, although some of them worked across the room on chairs as if the floor was made of hot lava. They stared intently into every corner of the room, watching the floor like hawks. Until…
They noticed my eyes searching the ceiling above them.
More screams, then ducking, covering their heads. One little girl dashed to the closet and came back with her umbrella!
The custodian came rushing in with yellow plastic gloves to save us from the Unknown Very Dangerous Loose Thing, but left quickly when the kids warned him that it could be scorpions or crocodiles. Associates and Foster Grandparents walked in and quickly left when they heard the news. And most of the kids decided it was safest to read perched on top of their desk today rather than in their usual comfy places around the room.
I’m not sure yet how long I’m going to let this fabulous prank continue. I’m having quite a lot of fun with it! They let their guard down long enough to get engrossed in the projects at hand, but then I make a random rustling noise somewhere and they fly back up to the desktops again.
They may not get their April Fools’ Day chance to torment me, but I’m making the most of my pre-April prank for them!
(Don’t worry…no one is in tears or seriously frightened. They are even writing notes and stories about the whole episode. And I have two cynics who are going around telling everyone in a deeply smug and condescending tone that Miss S is quite certainly making all of this up. However, I notice that those two aren’t putting their feet on the floor very often either…)