Way back in the day, we had a third grade teacher who had a tarantula named Harry. Harry was a bright spider who figured out that if he jumped up against his the top of his cage, he could move the top just enough to escape.


It was Halloween and I was walking into school early. There are decorations all around the third grade rooms, lots of distractions. As I walk by their rooms, I noticed a new spider on the wall, and thought nothing of it. I’m getting things together in my room and I hear this hollered down the hallway, “Has anyone seen Harry??”


I’d walked past Harry, ON THE WALL, because he’d escaped and somehow gotten out of the room. Needless to say, I had the shivers for days.

Fast forward a number of years, and I still hate spiders, but now I have a co-worker and friend in the 7th grade hallway who dislikes them as much as I do. Yesterday, I got this email: “Darin, I left a present in your mailbox.”


So, because of my schedule, I’m not able to make it down to my mailbox until after school. I stop to talk to our principal, and walk into this view:


The other teachers in the workroom didn’t even notice this thing in my mailbox. I mutter, “Damnit, Amber,” to which everyone looks up, questions in their eyes. I point at my mailbox, and everyone does the “yikes” jump back.

I showed off my spider today, and we decided his name is Woody. This is why I love where I teach. We are friends and love to mess with each other, if just a little bit! 🙂 A place like this is not found very often at all. In my 19 1/2 years in the school, I’ve found this to be true.

Amber knows, you don’t do something like this without expecting retaliation, so we’ll see what we can come up with. 🙂