Math = Love: Surprise! A bat?!?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Surprise! A bat?!?

Teaching is full of surprises.  My kids are always keeping me on my toes.  They're not always to blame, though.

For those of you who don't know, Drumright is a boom town.  Oil was hit in 1912, and the town was born.  The high school I teach at opened its doors in 1919!  Recently, our local historical society posted a picture of the school from 1919 on their facebook page.  I decided to take my own picture, just to compare.

Here's my school, soon after it was opened.  My classroom is the closest classroom to you on the second floor on your left.

Drumright High School - 1919
Image Courtesy Drumright Historical Society Museum

And, here's what my school looks like now.

Drumright High School - 2014

The North addition was added to make the school handicap accessible.  It houses an elevator and bathrooms on each floor.

Drumright High School - 2014
Why am I showing you pictures of the building I work in?  I'm hoping it will explain what I'm about to show you.  Remember how I said teaching is full of surprises?  Old buildings are especially full of surprises!

I had one of those experiences today.  I was sitting at my desk, grading papers.  It was late, and I was getting ready to head home.  The history teacher from across the hall came over to tell me something.  I stood up, and my eyes were drawn to a stain on the carpet.  Except, it wasn't a stain.  It was something that was alive.  It was a BAT!!!

Now, I've known that my school had bats since I started working here.  When the counselor gave me keys to my room, she warned me to beware of the bats that lived in the school.  Twenty-one months after hearing about the bats for the first time, I finally saw one.  In my classroom!

A Bat In My Classroom
This is not okay.  Bats do not belong in my classroom.  They belong in caves.  I think the only time I've actually ever seen a bat in real life before was in Marvel Cave at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO.

Thankfully, the history teacher stepped into action.  He got a broom, and used it to poke the bat.  Nothing happened, though.  It just continued laying there.  I know the bat isn't dead, because it moves its head every once in a while.  I think that it may be sick and/or dying.  Why else wouldn't it move when it got poked by a broom?  I also know that I do not want to get bit and have to go get a rabies shot!

I left my door open.  We'll see if the bat is still there in the morning.  I'm hoping that he will have disappeared by morning.  If not, I'll definitely be covering him with a bucket or trash can until the custodian or anybody but me can come and transport it from my classroom.

I just don't understand why the bat had to pick my room.  The light was on when it came in.  Don't bats like the dark?  As I wrote on facebook, my teacher preparation courses didn't teach me how to deal with a scenario like this.  Our faculty handbook doesn't have a procedure for bat removal.  I'm in uncharted territory here.  Oh, the things they don't teach you in college...

Don't worry.  I'll keep you updated on the bat saga!  We'll have to see what tomorrow brings...


  1. Relax! I know saying that won't actually induce relaxation...but you should, because most bats are fairly harmless to humans. (Even the one you appear to have there, though I'm not 100% certain of the species.) They're GREAT for keeping the insect population in check, though! Even after helping 3-4 little guys out of my house (built circa 1910), I still love seeing them fly around each summer night, scooping hundreds of mosquitoes and gnats out of the air.

    The bat is likely seeking shelter in your building for the same reason you's warmer inside than out! Here's a very easy removal method: get a small plastic tub, box or small trashcan, and a something thin and flat you can slide under the bat, like posterboard. Put the tub over the bat, slide the posterboard under the bat, then flip the whole thing over (your posterboard should be larger than the opening of the tub). Place the tub's cover on top of the setup and slide the posterboard out slowly to trap the bat inside. When I've released bats in the past, I usually take them out to the woods a few hundred yards away, loosen the lid and give the box a little toss. The bat does get a little jostled, but then I have a minute to get back while it re-orients itself for the escape. I've never had to wait more than a minute or two. Good luck!

  2. Sooooo not okay!!!! Good luck with that today! :)

  3. If your school is home to bats you can get an old fishing net with handle. Once the bat gets trapped in the net you can safely carry it outside. It will eventually get free of the net and fly away