Teachers know that “other duties as assigned” in our contracts can mean a lot of things. Fishing a piece of ham out of a urinal drain. Dumpster diving for a retainer while on a field trip. Finding fingernail polish remover to use on a student who superglued two fingers together. And sometimes it means teachers managing wildlife.
From mice to moose, see which animals teachers and administrators have found themselves tasked with rescuing, rehoming, removing, or releasing:
Mammals of all sizes
“Last year I had to rescue a baby javelina that was on our campus.”
—Rebekah C., administrator
“Reassuring children that I’d deal with the dead rat outside their window!”
“Not today, but various times over the years I’ve caught bats that have flown into our building.”
“Chasing the neighbor’s horse that got loose off the playground!?”
“This little guy was found at recess. Luckily I’m the one people call to borrow a cage or catch an animal.”
(If you’d like to read my own school-related baby squirrel saga, be my guest.)
“A chipmunk running into my classroom.”
—Cathy P., administrator
“Making my office a makeshift animal shelter. A kindergartner didn’t want to miss her kitty while she was at school, so she put the kitty in her backpack to keep her safe and brought her to school on the bus.”
Bugs, spiders, and creepy-crawlies
“Oh boy. We had a flea infestation once. I can still feel them MOVING on my ankles if I think about it.”
“Capturing a grasshopper so the kids wouldn’t keep screaming!”
“Morning snake removal!”
—Jeff O., administrator
“Trying to catch a lizard/salamander/newt in a Crayola box, having it ‘die,’ then wake up and hiss at us.”
And if you’re the brave custodian at Pescadero High School in California, I bet you’ll never forget about the day you had to lock a (very cute) mountain lion who wandered onto the campus in an English classroom.
Here’s a better picture of the #mountainlion inside an English classroom at #Pescadero HS.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responding. @nbcbayarea pic.twitter.com/kjTajLpGfP
— Stephanie Magallon (@MagallonNews) June 1, 2022
Y’all need a raise.
Have you had an animal encounter as a teacher? Let us know in the comments!