I’m Getting a Divorce (#kinderblog14, week 4)

Classic me, doing the #kinderblog14 challenge the first week and then petering out. I have a bit of a break at the moment. It’s been tough being a lady of leisure for the summer.

I sadly announce that I am getting a divorce from a very complicated relationship. One of the most challenging relationships I have experienced recently has been the one I have with a very important aspect in each and every school in our country. Some might say it has been put on the back burner due to all our technological advancements in society. Some might say we don’t even NEED this kind of relationship in schools anymore.

Yes, people. I am talking about the school paper supply room.

The paper supply room has caused me small to large amounts of rage on any given day since I’ve started teaching. We change it’s location, we buy new shelving, we throw in a stapler, a cutting tool, a glue stick here and there. But ALL IS LOST unless everyone respects some very important rules regarding the precious paper.

In no order of importance (they are all an 11 on the scale of 1 to 10) here are a few rules that coworkers need to obey:

THE LAST PIECE OF PAPER
When you take the last piece of white construction paper from the paper room, tell someone. There’s not a magic ordering fairy that will do that for you. And no, just because my students are “just in kindergarten” doesn’t mean we want your scraps to draw and paint on. Bring on the full size 8.5×14 people! The same thing goes for the photocopier. That red flashing light means it’s hungry. Feed it with some paper. It’s not difficult.

THE FIRST PIECE OF PAPER
Much like taking the last piece of paper from the paper room, when you take the first piece, don’t throw the clear wrapping onto the ground. The recycle is right there. You don’t even need to walk to get it in there. Maybe just a gentle lunge and a slight flick of the wrist will suffice. Gravity. Science. That kind of thing.

THE SCRAP PIECE OF PAPER
There are time when you find yourself in that in between situation from the previous two examples. You have finished cutting all your pieces and you are left with one, last, lonely piece of purple construction paper, resembling a triangle. Well coworkers, I have news for you. No one wants that purple triangle. No one. There will never be anyone who walks into the paper supply room and says, “OH PERFECT! A mangled kind of triangle sort of looking piece of construction paper! That’s exactly what that one student in my classroom needs.” That purple triangle needs to set up camp and find a home in the recycle bin. The sheer amount of energy it takes to find a use for that triangle, store that triangle, and keep it in its designated colour spot, is too much. It’s just too much output of energy for what you get back. It’s going into the recycle! Feel good about that! So help me God if I’m the one who walks into that paper room, and my 5’3 frame reaches waaaaaaaaay up to the top shelf to grab some fresh new purple construction paper, only to have a pointy, dangerous, eye stabbing triangle fall from its great height and directly into my eyeball.

Depending on my mood and how much coffee I’ve been able to consume that morning, any one of the above situations can throw me into a fit of rage for roughly 17 seconds. I’m really good at self regulating and getting over it, and I will promptly clean the paper supply room each time I have a few minutes. However, since I voluntarily clean and tidy the room during each visit, people become accustomed to this. Then it becomes EXPECTED! Therefore, I am getting a divorce. I am divorcing the paper room.

“Change Is Good” (#kinderblog14, week 1)

Aca-scuse me? Change is NOT good. If I had even a nickel for every time someone has told me that this past school year, I’d be floating on my private yacht on the Mediterranean Sea. And I live in The Canada, people.

Next year, I am moving to a new school. This. Frightens. The CHEESE RITZ CRACKERS out of me. I am a creature of habit through and through. I am ok with SOME change, but I would say I am even a creature of habit when it comes to the things I change in my life. For example, I can change what kind of cereal I eat in the morning, but when changing to a different kind of cereal, you better believe I’m going to eat it every single morning until that box is empty, without fail. Consistency, people. Consistency. And routine.

The best way I can describe this past school year is by using the word “turbulent”. I wasn’t myself. My friends and family noticed and ultimately got the eye of the storm for most of my “turbulent” school situations. As the school year continued on, it was clear these situations were isolated to my job. My #kinderchat friends were there to support me. My family was there to support me. Food was there to support me. Not going in to school to work on the weekends was there to support me. I loved my students, loved my grade, loved my families, loved everything that had to do with anything I had control over in my classroom, but it was the cloud up above that was affecting me. You all know the cloud. It’s the one that holds all the “outside the classroom” storms.

I am moving to a new school by choice. Why would a creature of habit CHOOSE to change their life so drastically, you might ask? (Ahem, YES this is a drastic change and you can’t convince me otherwise). I am making this change for MY HEART and not for my head. It has taken a year of tears and reflection for me to ultimately realize that my heart is the most important aspect to my job as a teacher. (Oh my goodness, cue the corny I KNOW). When it came down to a choice between two job options, one was clearly for the heart and one was clearly for the head. The weight that was lifted off my chest and shoulders after I had made the right decision was so great, I felt like a new person.

I learned a lot this past school year. I didn’t learn how to blog with my students, how a robotics program works, or how to teach my students how to code. I didn’t learn new science experiments, new ways to teach measurement in math, or how to best empty a water table full of smooshed up jelly-like water beads (you really gotta just go full force rubber gloves on that one). I learned how to be me as a teacher, while letting others find their way.
I learned that change for the heart is good.