I'm baaaaaaack.

Hoarding All the Glitter Since 2001.

05 June 2012

Lesser-Known Evils

Teachers have to break down their classrooms at the end of the year: put everything away and take everything down (fadeless paper fades, people).  Curriculum kits need to be put back together; puzzles need all pieces accounted for; all the furniture must be moved out for deep cleaning.

I generally do as little as possible of this until after school is out, because the Kindergartners don't like it.  This year I did have some fourth grade helpers on the last day of school who began to remove wall displays; three children wrote in their journals about not wanting to go to first grade.  I believe this is a cause-effect relationship; the visual reminder that hey this is over and you are not coming back is a little heavy for the soon to be first grade set.

However, this leaves me with a lot of unpaid labor after the school year is out.  Since I was stay-home-and-don't-move-much sick last week, I just finished yesterday afternoon after two solid days of breakdown.  So I am done in my classroom until early August.

Sunday was the grimy day, the kind where when you take a shower the sudsy water washes down gray and gritty.  I put everything away and reorganized quite a bit of stuff; I unloaded another Mystery Cabinet of the Retired Teacher and threw out the partially-used workbooks, discarded and old curricula, and separated, half-used tempera paint that collects in old classrooms like mine.  I also re-planned the craft materials so that supplies (except for general stuff like paint) are organized by project rather than type.  This means that when I need muslin for gyotaku, I won't have to dig through the felt and the silk remants to get it.  I also cleared a lot of old files that contained masters I no longer use (either because I've made my own, found better or no longer teach that topic in that way).

Monday was clean up - bagging the trash, delivering donations to the classrooms that requested them, pulling staples out of the walls and cleaning the desks.  I left some ambitious work orders for the summer, too.  I'm hoping that the two open holes in the wall that expose wires will be covered by something other than fadeless paper, and if asbestos regulations mean that the old and broken clock cannot be removed, I am hoping it will at least be covered (I would need a seriously tall ladder to reach it myself).

All in all, I put in fifteen unpaid hours doing classroom breakdown.  Doing it during my work hours would be nearly impossible - this kind of work doesn't happen in the daily hour of contract time after school.  Nor am I willing to inflict a blank classroom and limited instruction on my class for the last week so that it can be done when school lets out.  Anyway, this is just another service teachers provide that those generous-looking hourly wage calculations leave out.

...And that's without even considering putting it all back together in two months.

No comments: