Yes, so here I am writing, as I should be, and the kids are writing as they should be and all the world makes sense. We’ll see how long that lasts.
In the meantime, it appears our custodian is not at all pleased that the kids are doing some of the room clean-up that she is supposed to be doing. Silly me, I would’ve thought she’d welcome the opportunity to slide on even more of her room-to-room duties, but I guess it got back to Mrs. Nix that the kids were using the vacuum cleaner I brought from home.
How do I know Shaina isn’t pleased? She huffed and she puffed and she slid-slammed the trash cans into their corners after emptying them. And while she spent at least ten more minutes in my room than she usually does, she said not one word to me. She usually tries to pry a little info (i.e. ‘dirt’) out of me, no matter how many times I’ve shown no interest in playing along with her interrogations. This time, not word one.
What can I say? Yes, I’m glad I’m letting the kids join me in the classroom earlier than before, and yes, I realize now (and should have realized beforehand) that there is a price to be paid for sidestepping a few school policies.
Mrs. Nix was not thrilled with my ‘8:00 entry’ idea.
I find it helps to just expect pushback from her, so when it comes, I’ve already worked through some of the arguments on both sides and my own general uneasiness. (As I wrote that word ‘uneasiness’, I realized that even a month ago, I would have written ‘fears’. To me, that’s progress.)
Anyway, I heard the expected ‘Why should I make an exception for you?’ and ‘Now other teachers will be asked to do the same thing.’ arguments.
I told her that Room 36 IS an exception because of its location. (I’m always tempted to revisit the sorry state of the room back in August, as well, but I rein myself in.)
And then I called up a photo of one of the wet kids from a couple of days ago.
And then I pulled out an extra surprise–a note from Sanjay’s parents thanking me for the new policy.
(I kept their reasons to myself…something to tuck away for ‘a rainy day’, so to speak.)
Result: The exception will be granted on an interim basis.
I’ll take it.
Lately, some kids have knocked on my door before school starts
asking if they could retrieve a book, a lunch box, even a retainer [ick!]. And I noticed once they came in, they lingered until the bell sounded to ‘officially’ admit kids into their classrooms.
Yesterday, it was dry when I got to Room 36.
But by the time the kids were let loose to head to the classroom, it was pouring rain. Kids soaked–not a good way for them [or me] to start the day.
And I had an idea…take photos of the drenched kids. I didn’t tell them why, but I figured the shots might come in handy.
After journal time, I made the announcement: Room 36 kids can enter the classroom at 8:00 instead of 8:15.
And I laid the ground rules:
If you want to enter early, just come straight to the room. No need to attract attention.
- Once you’re here, school work comes first.
- If school work is completed, there might be classroom ‘chores’ that are completely optional.
- Quiet conversation is encouraged.
So yes, I should have probably checked with Mrs. Nix first, but this was one of those ‘easier to ask forgiveness than get permission’ moments. And I kept envisioning those rained-on, drowned-rat kids.
We’ll see how this plays out…
One Year Ago Today…
I was teaching lockstep with the instructional schedule.
I was teaching straight out of the district-approved and embarrassingly overpriced language arts series. The scope-and-sequence was the Bible.
I was bored with the reading selections and so were the kids.
Our writing assignments were dry as dust and so focused on non-fiction writing and ‘writing to learn’ that nothing felt new or original.
One year ago today I wasn’t bringing brownies and apple cake to staff meetings and I hadn’t forged a friendship with Mrs. Helm.
I think I’m liking this year a whole lot better.
Not sure how much grief might be awaiting me around the corner, but that’s a shruggable item for another day.