Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Don't Be A Science Teacher

The first school at which I worked had a teacher death. One of our science teachers didn't make it to work one morning. The department chair called the teacher's home, where his wife discovered that he had died peacefully in his sleep. He was 50 days from retirement.

At the next school at which I taught, one of our science teachers fell over right in front of class. She died several hours later in the hospital. Her daughter attended our school. I don't think the teacher was even 40 yet.

And just a few minutes ago I read the following, from the major Sacramento newspaper:

SAN FRANCISCO — A sixth-grade teacher collapsed and died in a school hallway in front of two students, school officials said.

Lanre Ladeinde, 52, from Sacramento, was seen falling to the floor near a restroom entrance at Roosevelt Middle School on Monday, said Lorna Ho, spokeswoman for the San Francisco Unified School District.

A staff member called 911 but resuscitation efforts on the math and science teacher failed, Ho said. The area was cordoned off so other students would not see the body and the school brought in grief counselors.

The cause of death was not immediately known. An autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday, according to the medical examiner’s office.

What common thread do you see in these three stories?


rightwingprof said...

I had a student a few years ago who just disappeared. He didn't come to class, and the other students in his cohort couldn't contact him. He didn't answer his phone, his cell, or his door, so they complained to me.

I sent him a terse, though not rude, email message, telling him that his cohort had complained and that he really should get hold of them. About a week later, I got an email message from an AOL account I'd never seen before, and I read it.

It was from the student's father. My student had been killed in a car wreck, and he was apologizing for not contacting me sooner.

I also had a student keel over and die in the hall outside the lecture hall waiting to take the final. I was told that he had been cramming by taking a bunch of stimulants, and he died of a massive heart attack.

And I had a student who was called to Iraq and was killed in action.

Three so far.

Lillian said...

If you visit www.amenclinic.com, Dr. Amen (a leader in brain spect imaging and diagnosis/treatment) has some information stats on which careers are predisposed to Alzheimers.
Teaching is a significant career factor, but there is no research to explain why.
Maybe it's those 5-6 large classes...and all of those...uh...names...uh...we have to...uh...what was I talking about??

Frosty the Snowman said...

"What common thread do you see in these three stories?"...hmm....were they all democratic?

Darren said...

Probably, you drug user. :-)

(Note to all those who are offended by this comment: the reference to Frosty the Snowman is kind of an inside joke, one I wrote about at http://rightontheleftcoast.blogspot.com/2006/03/dumb-school-rule.html
I have no reason to believe that the author of the above comment is in any way using illegal drugs, especially the white powdery kind. It's a joke, lighten up.)

Frosty-bit-me said...

nice sub-note.

Linda said...

I've known several science teachers who dropped dead suddenly. May be related to chemicals/air quality issues.

Myself, I think it has to do with the frustration in teaching a subject that a significant portion of the public finds terribly difficult.

Walter E. Wallis said...

Perhaps it was the sudden realization that all the other departments were doing whatever they could to undo the science education.