As a teacher in an elementary school, I have been trained to deal with a number of potential issues.
I know how to carry out fire drills and lockdowns. I know how to defuse the temper of a student which is bordering on a seriously escalated situation. I know how to carefully shift away from delicate topics that arise in the classroom; or, at least, to handle them as sensitively as I can.
Nosebleeds, broken zippers, allergies, asthma, cuts.
The list is endless.
One issue that would be considered minor (compared to some I have mentioned) and that I have a difficult time with is head lice.
This past week, my grade 1 and 2 students returned from their holiday break. On Tuesday, the second day of their return, the vice-principal received what he termed a raging phone call from the parent of one of my students. Her child had head lice. I had spoken to this parent before. This was the child’s third instance of lice this school year. Thus, the parent’s anger.
I can understand a parent’s frustration about head lice to a point; however, some seem to deem this more of a problem than some other more serious problems (e.g., “My child cannot read.”)
The last time I spoke to this irate woman, she wondered if my room needed to be cleaned. In other words, she thought that something in the classroom was lice-infested. If that were the case, I would suspect that other children and I would also have lice.
I am a professional.
I can answer a question such as, what would you do if there were an armed intruder in your school? Interestingly, I have difficulty answering, how will you get rid of the head lice problem?