Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Living Under a Rock #SOL20

I live under a rock. Most days I am ok with that, but I do miss out on some situations that my students are going through because not much gets underneath that rock.

Today we had an Edcamp PD that combined our high school and middle school teachers. We do this twice a year, and it is always nice to sit in on sessions with everyone together. I attended a session about vaping, and my eyes were opened and blinded by the light coming out from my rock.

Our guidance counselor had a bag of vapes that had been confiscated from our middle school students. I could not believe what I saw and learned. Vapes come in all different kinds and sizes. Some look like jump drives, highlighters, and pens. They have hoodies where they can hide the vapes in pockets and even in the strings. They have cleaned out the insides of markers - dry erase, highlighters, and Sharpies, and put the vapes inside. They are very sneaky.

It is believed that 50% of the student body, both at the middle school and at the high school, vape. This is a staggering statistic to me. We are looking into a program that teaches students the dangers of vaping, as they are not learning anything from punitive consequences. But we have a long way to go.

It is information like this that makes me grateful that I have raised my children, and they are not exposed to these temptations as teenagers.

And some days, I don't mind living under that rock.

Please join Two Writing Teachers and the annual Slice of Life March Challenge.


  1. It is sad, and like you, I spend time under a rock. We have had one incident (that I know of, probably more) at my elementary school.

  2. Although I don't know of any of my students who are, we've had a lot of vaping going on at my middle school too. We've had several parent awareness nights and sent a lot of info home. The health teacher has curricula for all grades. This is far more pervasive than cigarettes were when I was a kid.

  3. Vaping is a huge problem, and though you “don’t mind living under that rock,” I’m glad you now know about THIS school problem. However, what I’m most curious about is why you’d want to teach w/out awareness of these problems and what you’re planning in your classroom—apart from the all-school program— to do to address the problem w/ students through reading and writing. English teachers have these powerful tools for getting to kids’ hearts, but how can we use them effectively when we’re under our rocks?

  4. Our high school and middle school staff had training on this too. There are now vape detectors installed (bathrooms, I think). This trend is crazy!

  5. A few weeks ago I read an article in the Scope magazine with my students about vaping. We had a good conversation and I hope it sunk in and they will not try it. The article pointed out how the e-cig companies are targeting teens. So dangerous!

  6. I prefer living under my rock some days too. I like Margaret’s suggestion because it helps kids come to their own conclusions.

  7. Thank you for sharing your experience! That statistic is huge!!! One of my favorite things about you is how you like to reflect and process as you learn new things. You are so insightful and thoughtful. Thank you for being brave enough to share your learning. I feel like I didn't know all of this before I read your post either. It's hard to learn about these dangerous choices our students are making.