Thursday, September 17, 2009


For 3 of the 4 years I have been at my school, I have had many students will chronic bedbug bites. I know, it's totally disgusting and gives people the willies, but I have become so used to seeing it that I don't even pay attention anymore to children covered head to toe in bites. It's like I have this bedbug filter now. I even keep Aveno cooling lotion in the room for kids to put on their bites. Even after bedbugs were found in our school rugs, it didn't phase me. The infestation was the north side of the building after all and my classroom is on the east side. Plus, I never actually saw one crawling on MY rug.

Now I have a student teacher and right away, she asked me about the handful of kids who are covered in bites. She wanted to know if they should go to the nurse, or if they had a contagious disease or an allergy. She was like me 3 years ago: totally concerned about it. After 3 years of this, I have learned a few things about bedbugs.
1. The nurse won't do anything if you send a kid down.
2. Families adamantly deny bedbug infestations and even bring doctor's notes saying that the children have allergies or spider bites when we all know what the real problem is.
3. I have never (knock on wood) actually seen one in my classroom or brought one home with me.
4. When I asked an exterminator if it was possible to bring them home with me he said "technically, yes, but you probably won't." I don't want to gross anyone out, but you have a similar probability of picking them up from someone on the subway as you do in a classroom.

It's kind of a shame, but their existence is normal to me and I'm not that concerned about it anymore. I feel bad for the children because it is really uncomfortable, but ultimately I really can't do anything about it. I do, however, shake my pant legs and brush myself off after leaving the building. Ah, the wonders of teaching in New York!


Sarah said...

Ugh! I am now itchy!! Poor kiddos! I don't think I've seen this problem yet. I've seen tons of lice though!

Señorita in the City said...

eeek! I haven't seen this at school either, luckily we don't have rugs or anything like that. I saw a bed bug special once that was absolutely terrifying, apparently movie theater seats are a bed bug hot spot.