My Classroom is Under Water

Okay, it’s not really under water. It’s just very, very, very damp. The water has since receded. It always does eventually. This is what happens when you work on the lower level (read “basement”) of a school built in 1923. I’ve worked in this classroom for nine years with a very gifted, and very patient special education teacher. This is the fourth time in those nine years that the classroom has flooded. Each time matience attempts to fix the problem, dries out the carpet and we move back in. Each time this wonderful teacher loses more of her materials to water damage, most of which she has purchased with her own money.

This, most recent flood was the worst yet and the principal has put her foot down. We will not be moving back in until a professional is brought in to fix the problem for good. If you Understand how slowly things move in the public school system, then you know that we will not be moving back in during this school year.

In the meantime, we have been shuffled sideways into a smaller windowsless classroom that was occupied by our reading specialist, (she is now working in the conference room off the main office). The contents of our classroom are piled in boxes along one wall and down the hallway. The 8 second and third graders that come and go during the day usually sit on the floor for lessons because there aren’t enought desks or chairs for all of them.

Sound like fun? Our new mantra has become “It is what it is”. We have to sit on the floor with clip boards? Let’s pretend we’re camping! We need to search through the boxes for a book? Let’s call it a treasure hunt! We need to go out in the hall to have room to play a game? It’s a field trip!!! Each day has become an adventure all its own! But there is still learning going on and that’s the important thing, right? Not only are these children keeping up with their math and reading but they are also learning the science of adaptability! The art of making do!  The language of simplification!  That’s actually a pretty cool thing!

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