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Come Have a Look-See

Updated: Apr 15, 2023

My time as a classroom teacher is nearing an end, but the skills I've developed during that time will make me a better instructional designer moving forward.

So, my first #TransferrableTuesday post is an unbelievable (but true) story that taught me that one needed to learn to expect the unexpected and be able to react to unforeseen circumstances.


Dylan was a good kid, but he was always ready for some mischief, so you had to keep an eye on him. He could best be described as a "good ol' country boy" regularly adorned in his camouflage pants and shirt, worn boots, and a John Deere hat with a fishhook on the bill. He wasn't an A student, but he did his work and frequently made the entire class laugh.

One day, Dylan came into the classroom and went to his seat. He opened his backpack before sitting down, immediately gasped, and zipped it shut. Seeing his facial expression, I immediately asked, "Dylan, what's in the bag?"

Dylan replied, "Nothin', Mr. Speight. But I need to go outside to the trash can."

"Dylan, I've got two trash cans in here you're more than welcome to use. If you go outside, you might be late getting back," I said.

"Naw, Mr. Speight. You're gonna want me to go to the one outside," Dylan explained.

"Dylan, what's in that bag?" I asked.

"Aight, Mr. Speight. I reckon you can come have a look-see," Dylan said with a mix of warning and dread.

Against my better judgment, I walked back toward his seat as he fully unzipped his bag. A pungent odor struck me as I noticed what looked like mangled fur.

"What the **** is that?" I thought.

"What in the world was that?!" I asked.

"Can't say I didn't warn ya. I went coon huntin' on Friday (reader, this was the end of the school day on Monday). I got one and threw it in my backpack cuz I didn't have nothing else to carry it in. Guess I just forgot about it," Dylan explained.

"Is there anything else in that bag you need?" I asked.

"Naw, just some paper," Dylan replied.

"Take the whole bag outside. I can't imagine anyone will mess with it," I told him.

After he left, we opened the windows to air out the room. My supervising teacher, Mr. Knight, normally stoic and solemn was doing his best not to let the entire class see he was laughing. After some Febreze, the room largely returned back to the smell of over-used Axe body spray and thick cologne.

I can't remember what I taught about that day, but I remembered we adjusted and made it through the last block of the day. As you may have assumed, I asked to speak to Dylan after class ended.

"Dylan, I understand how the dead racoon got in your bag. But this is the last class of the day. How did you just now notice it?"

"Well, Mr. Speight, I guess you know now that you're the only teacher I work for," he replied with a smirk.

"Alright, I'll see you tomorrow, Dylan. Have a good day," I replied not knowing what else to say.

And I hope you do the same.

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