Is your classroom a fly trap?

I hate flies. I know… seems harsh… but it’s true. It seems to me that the sole purpose of their lives is to annoy me. I bought a flyswatter to help me to reduce the fly population in my home. Unfortunately, for the flyswatter to work, there must be a person with flyswatting talent on the other end for it to accomplish the task of swatting flies.  I am not that person. So, I decided to try a cheap fly catcher. It is in essence a sticky cardboard tube with a base. I set it on the windowsill of my makeshift office and waited. Sure enough, I now have several flies that have ended their lives stuck to the little cardboard tube.


Now I want to know, why did they die? No, I really don’t want the scientific explanation… I can Google that… It just seems oddly poignant that all we must do to kill a fly is immobilize it. I guess for a “fly” to continue to live, it must continue to “fly” – hence the name – so when trapped, it dies.

I am slightly claustrophobic. Sorry, I just lied. I am rather claustrophobic. OK! Do not stand too close to me; I will panic! If I am ever required to put on a helmet of any kind, I must go though a self-talk ritual of “I can still breathe… I will not die… i will be fine” to keep me from freaking out. I have screamed for my husband to help me out of the turtleneck sweater stuck on my head. Not a pretty sight.

So… In a way, I can understand why by merely trapping a fly that it will actually, physically die.

I thrive on change. Last year I moved into a brand new home in a new area of a different state and started a teaching job at a new school in a different county. To me that’s an adventure. This year I’m staying at the same school but changing departments. I have been teaching English for 19 years… this year I am the theatre teacher. I am so excited! I’m always looking for that next new challenge.

We have students who are like me. They need a new challenge. They want to fly – stretch those wings – explore new life and new civilizations… wait… ummm… no… but they do want to discover new things about themselves and the world they live in. The argument could be made that then they just need to wait until they graduate and then go out and learn what they want… but they need us to guide them and bring them back when they’ve wandered too far away.

We have the entire world at our fingertips today; break through the walls of your classroom and open up windows to the world for your students.