So yesterday morning in my eighth grade class, a kid unzipped his binder and then commented, rather nonchalantly, that there was something in there. He held it up and I saw a spider, but I didn't think much of it because I assumed it was fake. I gave my best cynical "pull the other one" teacher look, and then I saw that the thing was moving. It wasn't fake; it was a very much alive, medium-sized tarantula.
Unfortunately others had also seen what I had seen, and noise and drama ensued. I zipped the binder back up and sent the kid out with it to dispose of the spider, meanwhile trying to calm down the remaining students. Of course whatever genuine fear anyone was feeling was quickly magnified into mass hysteria. Some kids were so frightened that they were forced to run full pelt out of the classroom (thus following the spider, rather than staying away from it). It took a good while for me to calm the students back down enough to read the next chapter of The Hunger Games (because that's a recipe for calm).
The spider was quickly dispatched out in the hallway, which was actually a shame because it could have joined the one that's in a cage in our library, had it survived.
6 hours ago