Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tackling the beast

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I walked into the room and was blown away from the sight which greeted my querying eyes; I quite simply couldn’t believe the state of the area. It was a mess. I couldn’t remember leaving it in such a disconsolate condition; however, I’d jetted out in a flurry and headed out to a Hurculean summer of impossible goodbyes and cross-country exploits that it was entirely possible.

I had not been to that the classroom for the duration of the entire summer. More so, since the custodial staff had moved everything sitting on the floor in order to clean carpets and wax floors, the room was unequivocally declared as a scene of national disaster.

I felt like crumpling down in a mass of overwhelmedness and just letting the room trample over me; I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. “Please, just let it be fixed.” I thought, wishing that it would indeed be magically put back together the way I envisioned when I opened them, like something Professor Dumbledore had done in the most current Harry Potter movie.

But alas, Hogwarts my classroom is not

I couldn’t cast a spell to take away the heaps of papers and piles of boxes which had gathered from the other teachers leaving my team last year; and I had no potion to sort out the remaining odds and ends left by students which had mysteriously magicked themselves onto my desk—all in all which made it look more like a demilitarized zone in office warfare.

I had none of these resources at my disposal.

At this point I have to ask, have you ever noticed how being depressed and complaining never solved any problems? How it never accomplished anything? How it never actually made you feel any better? Well, not in the long term?

My point exactly.

So instead I set my iPod (I seem to do this a lot, don’t I?) to a favorite playlist, and as an alternative to complaining, set to work.

As I gazed about the room, I remembered something my good friend, Jaqs, had once said; something to the effect of, “Start off by doing whatever it is that will make it look like the most difference has been made with the littlest of effort.”

This was good advice as I spent the next six hours salvaging, sorting, organizing, moving, deciding, redeciding, resorting, and finally, standing back and appraising.

So, is my classroom ready?


Is closer to being done?


However, I still have two days to work on it; forty-eight hours to tackle this beast and make it appear that I am the teacher who completely has it all together.

Bring it on.

This, is magic.


Mamma has spoken said...

I feel your pain, I still have so much to do but at least if someone walks by my classroom now, it looks like I am ready. All an illusion.....

K.J. said...

I just put my room together last Wednesday. Had it looking as ready as it could be before all of the students came in with their parents to meet me. Now, today is the first day of school. Isn't it funny how you still get those gitters even though you've had a lot of first days of school? I hope your first day goes well, which I am sure it will as you are one of the best teacher around! Have a great week, and Welcome Home!

Corine said...

Best of luck to you... I know your pain! I'm going through a little of my own. Thank God for the magic of optimism and persistence to help get a job done! :D

By the way, what's the magic that makes one "appear to completely have it all together?" I'd like a dose of that please! :D he he... just kidding - don't need it! ...neither do you!!!!

Just smile... you're great! :D

TTFN! Corine

Gerb said...

Wait... you mean you're NOT the teacher who has it all together? Wow.

(Don't worry, though - your secret is safe with me.)

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm strange, but I think I'm a little jealous! I remember these days very well--and it was always a welcome challenge. Sort of like putting together a well-loved jigsaw puzzle that had been a little reshuffled.

Have fun, good luck, and have a great open house night.

A Lark said...


Teachinfourth said...

M - It's all about appearances, isn't it?

KJ - Yeah, that nervous feeling still happens though not to the extent that it used to.

As for the first day...two kids sent to Australia; not bad to set the example for everybody else for the remainder of the year.

C - Thanks. It all ended up done in time...which was great. As for that 'magic' you mentioned it's really different for everybody. I look at it as smoke and mirrors.

G - What does 'have it all together' really mean?

L - I do like the room better the way it is now, it just feels better though I miss my old students. I see them out on the playground and it makes me long for last year.

J - Hallelujah.

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