The Stairs. The Children. The Teacher.


 Several years ago, I transferred from a two story school to a three story school. The school building was nearly 100 years old. Wow! I love historic buildings! I had been a literacy coach and I DEFINITELY wanted to go back to a teacher position. I missed the classroom so much and I was very tired of what appeared to be administrative bickering.

One of my close friends had been working at the three story school for several years and absolutely loved it. They had a third grade opening and I jumped at the chance. I had never even walked into the school until the first teacher workday before the start of school. And then I found out how older buildings were built…

I had not been introduced to the stairs! My friend did not dare tell me about the very uneven stair problem! They had ALWAYS been uneven.



Nice school…but what is the deal about the stairs?


On that first day, I walked in pulling my rolling, kind of cute, but typical teacher bag with one hand and a big box of books in the other hand. I was just trying to cut down on the trips that I would have to make from my car. I had 10 more boxes to bring into the building…maybe 15. Only one door on the front of the building was unlocked. And then I saw the first of many staircases. Straight up. Steep. Sort of dark like…well…way dark. My classroom was on the second floor which really was the main floor where the office was located. The door that I entered was the first floor. I would call it a basement. Not one person called it a basement as far as I know.

I placed my box on the floor. I just could not handle dark stairs, a heavy book box and a rolling, kind of cute teacher bag. If I had carried that box up those stairs, I could have ended up in the emergency room. One step would be very narrow and short. The next step would be deeply wide and the next step would be nearly impossible to handle. Let’s just call it a deeply and critically big step. When I got to the third step…even though I was walking upstairs…I lost control and let go of my rolling bag. It banged loudly left and right back down…breaking a few special teacher’s desk “decor” on the way. Actually, the description using the word “decor” is questionable. I suppose that I did not need that stuff anyway.

If I had not let go of the rolling bag, it would definitely have been me falling left and right back down the stairs. My head and back hurt just thinking about it.

I found the elevator. Great for me, but what would I do when I had 22 children with me? Forget the elevator.

I decided that I would just go with the flow and try to memorize where all of the uneven steps were located. I soon found out that virtually every staircase in the school building was uneven! Even the steps leading up to the front door were difficult…at least I thought so.

After memorizing the “not good” steps, I was almost fine with the stairs. I decided that I must be the only person who found them unusual and just downright dangerous.

And then it happened. A teacher on my team started yelling loudly at the top of a third floor staircase just outside of my classroom door. And then, he proceeded to fall all the way down.

 I thought that he surely had broken both legs and maybe both arms, but he jumped up like a gymnast. He raised his arms just like Olympic athletes do when they have been successful on the balance beam. Since my door was open, my class saw the entire incident or shall we say…brave performance. All 22 children stood up and gave him a standing ovation!  Those uneven stairs caught him when his mind was wandering elsewhere. Scared me to pieces.

I stayed for two years and never, ever fell down. I walked up and down each staircase in slow motion…like I was in an old silent movie that was broken. So…I transferred to a nearby school…where I also had friends.




It was a much newer building with no stairs at all! Lucky me! On the first day of school, I promptly fell down on the front sidewalk with my rolling, kind of cute teacher bag. I blamed it on an uneven sidewalk or perhaps my new and too tall wedge sandals were…shall we say…totally uneven!






7 thoughts on “The Stairs. The Children. The Teacher.

    • Thank you for your comment! Those stairs really scared me…not only for myself, but for the children! That particular year, the janitor fell down the stairs and had to have surgery! I can certainly understand your move to a condo!


    • Marble! I love marble, but I imagine there were injuries sometimes! Is the school still open? Or have they replaced it with a big fancy building (like the “powers that be” did with my high school!) with the most important items…a new football stadium with a VERY nice field house! Friday night football is #1 in Texas! I still can’t believe beautiful marble for the stairs! We have marble in our entry hall. It was there when we bought the house. Now there is a small crack by the step down to the famiy room. Plus…Justin drew a little picture in the corner with a black permanent marker a few days after we moved in! He was five years old and had never tried anything like that before! And he never did it again!!

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      • The high school is still there and used for high schooling :). It has been added on to and renovated a lot since I attended as a student. My boys went to the same high school as my husband and I did. My dad attended there also as did one of my grandpas. I am not sure if they redid the steps during the renovations or not. I think I would get lost if I went past the kitchen and office.

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      • When they built the new high school in my hometown, they used the old one for city functions, etc. They just tore it down two or three years ago. My dad also graduated from the same school as me. I believe that my dad’s three sisters graduated from the same school and so did my brother…and all but one of my cousins on my dad’s side of the family! My mother grew up in Nashville TN and finished high school up there. When we would visit, we would always drive by her school! I remember it as also being three story & it already had been there a long time! Mike lived about thirty miles away and went to high school where his mother taught and eventually became the librarian…for all 12 grades! Can’t imagine that! I didn’t know Mike then! We did not meet until we both had finished college. He moved to Fort Worth from UT-Austin to work for a CPA firm. I was working at the newspaper in my hometown…I had an internship there the summer before my senior year…they promised me a job and I took it! I am so glad that I did because it gave me extra time with my parents and I worked with Mike’s cousin!

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