by Steve Joos
What would happen if a teacher suddenly finds herself in the care of some of her students?
|One by one, the students in Mrs. Gimbel’s third grade class confidently read their essays.
“When I grow up,” began one girl. “I want to be a doctor.”
“Nurse,” said another.
“Doctor,” said one of the boys in class.
“Emer-gen-cy medi-cal…EMT!” proclaimed another boy, after a bit of hesitation.
There was a future police officer, a boy who wanted to play football and then coach, a girl who wanted to be on television, a teacher and even a girl who not only wanted to be a lawyer like her mom and dad, well then she was going to-
“Run for President!”
As well as a few more doctors and nurses.
“My, my, my!” Mrs. Gimbel finally said after Linda, the aspiring teacher, finished reading her essay. “You all certainly seem very ambitious! You know you’ll all have to work and study hard to achieve those thigs, but I’m sure you will.”
She then looked at Kimberly, Juanita, David, Scooter and the other medically ambitious pupils.
“So many of you want to be doctors or nurses,” she marveled. “Well, now I know who to see if I get sick.”
The class giggled, but as the day went on, Mrs. Gimbel didn’t seem to be feeling well. She felt a twinge in her chest during the day and it just didn’t go away, even after she went home, are dinner and even graded some papers. Finally, she became so uncomfortable that her husband decided to take her to the hospital.
Mr. Gimbel didn’t seem to notice how fast he was driving until a police car pulled behind him and motioned for him to pull over.
“Do you know how fast you were going, sir?” the very young patrolman asked.
“I’m sorry officer,” Mr. Gimbel replied nervously. “But my wife isn’t feeling well and I was taking her to the hospital.”
The patrolman then shone his flashlight into the passenger side.
“Oh,” he said. “Hi Mrs. Gimbel!”
“Jeffrey Thomas?” Mrs. Gimbel gasped.
“Oh wow,” Jeffrey repeated, “Don’t worry, we’ll get you to the hospital. Just follow me.”
Jeffrey returned to his police cruiser and made some radio calls. Soon, the Gimbels were following him to a hospital emergency entrance.
“How do you know that cop?” Mr. Gimbel asked his wife as they pulled in to the hospital.
“I think he’s one of my students,” was the shocked reply. I had them write essays on what they wanted to do when they grew up. Jeffrey wanted to be a policeman.”
Mr. Gimbel shrugged a bit.
“Good choice,” he said.
The Gimbles’ entrance into the emergency area was slowed as a tow-headed EMT wearing glasses rushed an accident victim in for treatment. He looked familiar, as did several of the doctors and nurses there, including the admitting nurse.
The nurse looked up and did a double take.
“Hi, Mrs. Gimbel!” she exclaimed, showing her name plate. “It’s me, Juanita Diaz! From your class!”
After Juanita checked Mrs. Gimbel in, she went to a waiting area A television set was carrying the news.
“The Governor was sounding more like a White House hopeful again today,” the anchorwoman, or perhaps anchor kid said. “In the state capitol, she ,”
Once again, Mrs. Gimbel watched in amazement. One of her students, Laurie, was reading news, while the Governor looked like, was that Stephanie Martin? Why, just the other day, she was standing in front of the class, telling how she was going to be an attorney, like her parents and also run for President.
What is going on here?
“Yeah, she’s gonna run for President,” a gruff young man sitting next to Mr. Gimbel said.
I’m not too worried about that now.”
“One of my players got hurt tonight. They’re trying see how bad right now. I know most of these doctors, so that’s a bit of a relief.”
“I’m sorry hear about that Marcus,” Mrs. Gimbel said. “Marcus!? MA MAR-“
“Gimbel?!” a young doctor called out. “Mrs. Gimbel?”
“I’m right here,” the teacher said sheepishly, walking slowly to meet the doctor, and once again find a familiar face.
This time, it was Kimberly who tended to her somewhat astonished teacher, helping Mrs. Gimbel through an examination. She was given some medicine, which seemed to help the discomfort, and was given some tests.
.“You seem to be doing better Mrs. Gimbel,” Kimberly said. “The medication really helped that. But we will have to admit you overnight and run some tests. We’re going to have to give you a stress test tomorrow.”
Kimberly took Mr. Gimbel aside briefly to explain what would be happening and what Mrs. Gimbel’s prognosis was.
“Your wife hasn’t had a heart attack,” she told Mr. Gimbel. “That’s good, but we’d like to give her a stress test, so she’ll be all reight.”
“Thank you doctor,” Mr. Gimbel replied.
Kimberly then smiled.
“What was that for?” Mr. Gimbel asked.
“Oh, your wife told us today that if she ever got really sick, she hoped we’d be able to help her.”
“All of us here at the hospital!” she exclaimed. “She’s our teacher.”
Mr. Gimbel chuckled a bit and went to see his wife before leaving for the night.
The next day, there were another group of familiar faces tending to Mrs. Gimbel as she underwent more x-rays and a stress test.
“You’re doing well,” a young doctor told her told her late in the day. “You should be able to check out this afternoon Mrs. Gimbel.”
She was too stunned to be relieved at the news, as Mrs. Gimbel as the young physician explained he test results, referring to him as “David” before correcting herself to call him “doctor” each time.
“You have a little stress, but that’s to be expected,” the very young doctor said.
“Why is that?”
“Well, you always say we give you stress when we get a little too rambunctious in class,” the doctor laughed.
Mrs. Gimbel laughed nervously.
Mrs. Gimbel nervously returned to her third grade class after a brief stay in the hospital. It was an emergency trip and many of the people around her were similar to her students, especially the doctors and nurses who treated her.
The longtime third grade teacher had become ill right after her class had read their essays on "When I grow up," where they talked about what they wanted to do for a living when they were older, Mrs Gimbel was amazed that so many of her students wanted to be doctors or nurses, Then when she was in the hospital, those students were her doctors and nurses!
As she entered, Linda, one of Mrs. Gimbel's students was directing another student in posting the classes' essays on the bulletin board.
"How has everything been?" Mrs. Gimbel asked.
"Oh, it went very well," Linda replied. "The class was very good, except for a few of the boys."
"They were very good for the substitute, don't you mean?" Mrs. Gimbel said, smiling at her student's excitement.
"Oh yes! They were very good!"
"Now Linda, " Mrs. Gimbel was about to correct her pupil when she saw the last essay to be posted.
"'When I grow up'" Mrs. Gimbel read. "By Linda. When I grow up, I want to be a teacher,"
Mrs. Gimbel stopped,
"Why yes Linda," she said. "I'm sure the class was in very good hands."
What do you want to be when you grow up? If you’re not a third grader yet, you may want to give it some thought. Because if you get Mrs. Gimbel for a teacher, there may be a day when you’ll have to go to work.