“You look terrible.”
“No, really. You’re sick.”
“I bet you have a fever.” Shannon put her hand on my forehead, mom style, and then headed for the gallon jug of hand sanitizer next to my desk.
I waited patiently while she killed germs from her fingertips to her elbows.
“You have a fever.”
I nodded. I felt like I had a fever.
“Why are you here today?” she asked.
I just raised an eyebrow and looked at her. The “you know why I’m here” frown I was attempting to achieve was rendered ineffective by the huge sneeze that people three classrooms away heard. Teachers hate to be out sick. Getting substitute materials together was more of a hassle than working when you had the flu.
She walked to my supply cabinet, got out the Lysol, and started spraying.
“I’m going to tell the office that you need a substitute for the rest of the day. Where are your lesson plans?”
I pointed to my head.
“You better write them down now, girl. You’re going home.”
“I can’t go home. The kids are presenting their speeches today. I can’t miss it.”
“They’ll be happy to have an extra day to practice. Find a worksheet you can leave for today and go home already.”
“I don’t feel that bad. Really, Shannon.” I coughed weakly into a tissue.
Shannon’s “you will do what I tell you to do” glare didn’t only work on 7th graders; it worked on adults as well.
“Maybe I should go home,” I admitted.
“I’ll go arrange for a sub.” She turned back to me from the doorway. “Find a worksheet and I’ll make copies for you.”
“Yes, ma’am.” I already had copies of a generic grammar worksheet in my emergency sub packet. I just hated to use them because I was going to have to replace them. I don’t have time for that.
I had my head on my desk and was nearly asleep when Shannon came back.
“Get your purse and go. Everything here is taken care of.”
“OK, mom,” I answered groggily. “You know, Shannon, you’re the best teammate I’ve ever had. I love you.”
“Do not even think about hugging me, girl.”
“Yes, ma’am.” I waved at her from the doorway and walked down the steps to the parking lot. I’m sure a day at home was just what I needed. Darn if I wasn’t feeling better already.