Please help - phobia

(4 Posts)
Happy36 Sat 30-Aug-14 12:57:16

So one of my colleagues came into work yesterday morning and found a live snake in her classroom.

We´re in Spain and our school is close to some countryside so we wouldn´t be surprised to see a snake perhaps in the bushes by the carpark or something but this was inside a classroom on the 3rd floor!

She was shocked but pretty OK with it - maintenance removed it and she got on with her day. The students are not back yet - we teachers are having training sessions and setting up for the new term.

I didn´t see the snake and her classroom is one corridor away from mine.

However I have a phobia of snakes and was completely freaked out by this. I had a panic attack and couldn´t breathe and some further panic attacks throughout the day yesterday. My colleagues were very sympathetic as I think they could see I was very troubled by it all and acting differently to usual.

I love my job and am so excited for the new term. However I feel so frightened about going back in on Monday. I don´t know how the snake could have got into her classroom as she locked it when she left on Thursday night then came in on Friday morning to find it, suggesting that it was already in the room on Thursday - she thinks it could have been inside a large roll of backing paper she took out of an art cupboard on Thursday afternoon but never got around to unrolling that day.

I told our head and he kind of laughed it off so I don´t really know what to do. Ideally I would like the maintenance to check the school e.g. cupboards and corners, etc. Our school is really old and dirty and dilapidated (nothing´s been cleaned over the summer) so I just don´t feel confident at all that it is safe. However I think I´ll just get ignored or laughed at if I ask for this again. Everyone else seems to be relaxed but I just feel sick. I am sweating and hyperventilating just writing about it here.

Please help.

Iggi999 Sun 31-Aug-14 22:19:50

Good grief. No chance of this happening where I live, but I share your phobia and feel your pain! Do you have health and safety reps - must be unsanitary at the least and potentially dangerous. I imagine when the kids are in the noise would scare off any animals. (To look on the bright side). Is there anyone sympathetic you can talk to there? I imagine this was very much a fluke, someone local will know this better for me though.

Happy36 Sun 07-Sep-14 00:28:15

Thanks so much Igi999. My colleagues have been great and I have been mostly able to put it out of my mind especially whilst actually at school as there is plenty to keep busy with. At home I have stayed indoors mostly and not been out for my usual daily run but been on our indoor treadmill instead (I hate treadmills!)

Had a massive clean of my classroom on Tuesday morning with a fantastic, bribe-able with dinner colleague´s help (the summer school had left it pretty filthy with balls of paper and unwanted or used equipment all over the floor, glitter absolutely everywhere and hairs, pencil sharpenings and general grime on the tables, seats and floor. Also some scribbling on the walls which we couldn´t scrub off).

Went to see the doctor too and got some advice about the panic attacks which are now thankfully much fewer and less severe.

Thank you again for your kind, sensible words and support. Much appreciated.

Iggi999 Sun 07-Sep-14 08:33:15

Glad you have taken some positive steps smile It must be very very rare for this to happen - somewhere tropical maybe but not mainland Europe! So it's about as likely to happen again as for me to win the lottery and retire from teaching grin I did think of you this week when a spider was scuttling around my room causing much hysteria - a valiant pupil put it out of the window, maybe you could train up a student.

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