The Next Page Entry 63: Hand me that mop!

The Next Page Entry 63: Hand me that mop!

custodian's cart
Image by deepcove from Pixabay

It’s been two straight nights Shaina has skipped cleaning my room. It must be easy to forget a whole building, right? I mean, we’re all of 104 paces away, if you go by Sanjay’s after-lunch demonstration last week.

That must be sheer drudgery. 

And it’s probably easy to ‘forget’ to clean a classroom when the teacher doesn’t complain…except inside a journal.

And that same teacher who recently snagged from the custodian’s closet a bottle of the district-approved non-toxic spray to wipe down the desks… and last weekend brought in her own vacuum cleaner for those now inevitable ‘missed assignments’.

Then again, maybe Shaina is more prone to show up when I am around, hoping she can dig up a little dirt.

Am I being paranoid? 

***

Maybe I’m in the wrong line of work. I should buck for a promotion to custodial assistant. I might even get a little more respect from Mrs. Nix. 

On second thought, if Shaina found out I was the one who slapped her name on eight unlabeled items in the staff fridge, she’d hardly be on board with me as a ‘team member’, now would she?

The Next Page Entry 62: Overheard in Room 36

The Next Page Entry 62: Overheard in Room 36

a man listening, holding his hand up to his ear

Glad I’ve been keeping a small notebook with me…

Overheard in the classroom yesterday. : 

— “Do you think Ms. Page has a plan for today?”

— “No way! I would never mix sardines with peanut butter!”

— “They should make kids be the crossing guards. My grandpa said he used to be one.”

— “I think I saw Ms. Page talking to Mr. Taylor after school.”
“So? Teachers are always talking to each other.”
“What do you think they talk about?”
“Probably snoopy kids like you.”


Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

The Next Page Entry 61: One year ago today…

The Next Page Entry 61: One year ago today…

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.

The Next Page Entry 60: Weekend Homework? Really?

The Next Page Entry 60: Weekend Homework? Really?

So, I gave the kids homework over the weekend.
Yes, ruthless, aren’t I?
I kept it simple.
“Bring in a piece of cardboard at least two feet wide and two feet long.”
And I gave them two nights to do it. And I encouraged those who had extra cardboard to offer some to others who weren’t able to [or choosing to] track some down. And I suggested to the cardboard-deprived kids to ask their classmates or neighbors or a store for a single sheet.
Two nights!
Ask for help!
Result: 12 out of 27 kids brought some in.
Give me a break!
And yet, I had a feeling this would happen, so I was ready.
I had sauntered down the aisles of Foodko during late-night shelf stocking and asked the folks for the emptied boxes. They were champs.
So, yesterday I had cardboard sheets stacked for those who hadn’t followed through.
But everything has a price, even castoff cardboard…

The Next Page Entry 59: Is she actually a spy? More on Shaina.

The Next Page Entry 59: Is she actually a spy? More on Shaina.

spying through the blinds
Yep, Shaina is kind of like that factory foreman [foreperson] few workers like, but have to obey and, at times, suck up to.

Now that my radar is up, there are hints that she may well be an extension of Mrs. Nix. She lingers for an extra minute after she’s done with the room. Maybe she’s congratulating herself for remembering to actually clean the place. But there is this uneasy silence and I try not to engage.

But this whole thing is just plain weird. And it sends me further into a protective shell. Which I make sure includes lots of peanut M & M’s. And my cell phone.

I’m not sure what’s more troubling—

—that our jobs as teachers could be daily affected by the perception of —euphemism alert!— ‘non-instructional staff’.

OR

—that an administrator might actually feel the need to rely on a ‘non-instructional staff’ to keep tabs on us.

Yeeesh.