Batman Comes to Waterbury

The first day of summer school began with a bizarre game of shuffleboard yesterday when I scooted a dead bat out of my classroom and across the hall and--oops!--under the door of the room opposite me.

When I let the custodian know about the body in the next room, he said, "He won't be bothering anybody if he's dead." Then he shrugged: "At least the live ones get rid of the flies."

It's funny what doesn't bother you after a while.

Later that morning, I was walking a class through what I had thought was a wildlife-free zone up a flight of stairs and into my classroom when one of the boys straggled behind, fascinated by a bat hanging from the wall above the stairwell. "Miss, there's a bat," he said.

"Alive or dead?" I asked.


"Good for him. He's doing better than the one I found this morning."

"Miss. I want that bat. Can you get him for me? Miss. I want to kill it."

"You can't do that. Not today."

"Why not?"

"It's July 6."


"So it's National Be Kind to Bats Day. Can't let you do it."

"Miss. I didn't know about that holiday."

"That's why you're in school, dear: to learn things."

Next day: "Miss. Did you catch the bat for me?"

"No. But we had a long talk. I told him he wasn't safe with you around and he should move on."

"Miss. You didn't. Did you think it was strange I wanted the bat?"

"No. I thought it was strange you wanted to kill the bat."

His final question was a good one. We had been talking about inferences, that dangerous art of drawing conclusions based on what you know and what you see or read. So, what was my inference? Had he made the impression he wanted to make?

"Did you think I would kill it?"

"No." I think you're a boy. "From here on out, I'm calling you Batman."

A rule of thumb in teaching is to start with the kids where they are. It has not been lost on me these past few days that they start where I am, too. I do appreciate their open, willing souls. They lift me up every minute of the day.


  1. A funny conversation. We never had any bats where I went to school :)

  2. What a delightful conversation and post! And it does bring back memories of my teaching days! I love it! You handle things so perfectly, Sandy! What a great teacher you are! They lift your soul and you lift theirs! Enjoy the rest of your week!


  3. Those kids are blessed....and so are You...

    and WE who join you here!

    Aloha from Waikiki :)

    Comfort Spiral

  4. what a gifted creative teacher you are

  5. Ahh, the wisdom of the custodian...
    Sounds like a conversation I once had with a grandchild of mine

  6. I wish I could have had you as a teacher...

  7. Sandy, you are a splendid teacher! I like this post very much, what a nice conversation! Kids are always "new", their minds and their expressions are always so wonderful.

  8. "So it's National Be Kind to Bats Day. Can't let you do it.">>>wise kid but here comes a wiser teacher.

    then came batman!

  9. well, I hope he learned a lesson. I know I did - about teaching. thanks, Sandy!

  10. How blessed are kids who encounter teachers like you!

    I grew up with bats flying around in the evening after dark. We were grateful they were there, catching the insects that otherwise would have bitten us while enjoying the cool breeze after a hot summer day. I am glad you taught that boy to think before mindlessly killing an innocent creature!

  11. What a wonderful exchange!! And "Batman" cracked me up!!
    How cool that you have wildlife right in your school building. Ha!
    Great teaching tool though, don't ya think? JK

  12. What lucky children having you as a teacher.

  13. Delightful! Oh, I DO hope you are chronicling the days of your teaching... and the days of your being taught! It will make for a marvelous book! It will enrich the readers as well as subsidize your retirement years quite nicely!

  14. Anonymous9:39 AM

    There's a television show within all these wonderful stories.

  15. Every time I read about how you relate to your students, I'm so grateful that you're out there cultivating minds. You are a beautiful teacher.

  16. You're a great story teller!


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