promo box 1 green

promo box 2 yellow

promo pic 3 blue

If You Give A Teacher A Work Day...


If you give a teacher a day to work in her classroom...

If you give a teacher a day to work in her classroom, she will probably be so startled by the amazingly shiny, waxed floors, she won't notice the that all the computers have been piled in the sink.  

As she gazes across the shiny floor, she'll become so excited that she'll probably start unpacking the first box she gets her hands on, pulling out all the fun subitizing math centers with cute erasers from Dollar Tree.

That will remind her of all the bags of stuff she brought with her today from Target Dollar Spot that she's been amassing all summer long and hiding from her husband under the guest room bed.  She will start to go through all the bags, pulling out the alphabet cards, and felt fraction sets, and colorful clothespins, and some ceramic apple thing that she's not sure what to do with.

Then she'll realize she can't put any of those things away yet since every single piece of furniture is piled precariously in the corner, so she'll start to move tables.  And desks. And chairs. And shelves. 

When she moves the shelves, she'll remember all the categorized book labels she printed and laminated for her classroom library and start searching for them in the giant stack of boxes, none of which she actually labeled in the frenzy to get out of this place last June.  

As she's shoving boxes around everywhere, she'll get distracted by the bright, neatly folded, clean curtains she took home and washed over the summer.  

Since she can't find the curtain rods in any of the 37 boxes she has unpacked into the middle of the floor, she'll start putting up a bulletin board.  

While looking for the *good* stapler on her desk, she'll decide to try to put her desk in order and organize all her Sharpies, and Mr. Sketch markers, and Flair pens into color coordinated containers. She'll have to try every single color. Twice.

Her team mate will come in and ask her to go to lunch.  An actual meal out at a restaurant with colleagues that will last more than 7 minutes.

After lunch, she'll open the closet and discover the pocket charts, the birthday box, the easel charts, the curtain rods, and the word wall banner.  She'll realize she needs a step ladder because the last time she stood on a chair there was an accident report involved, so she will head out to find the keeper of the tall step ladder, the head custodian.

As she's searching all four million square feet of the building, always two steps behind the elusive custodian and the tall step ladder, she'll spot her teacher BFF's adorable classroom already set up and beautifully organized.  She'll become instantly convinced that her classroom will not be even remotely ready by the end of the week and she'll start to run at a full sprint, in a panic, back to her hot mess of a classroom.

It is now time to go home, every box is half unpacked, the room is destroyed, nothing is actually finished, and she'll need at least two more classroom work days to undo the damage.

Welcome Back to School!

36 comments

  1. Spot on!!! I just retired after my 35-year teaching career and can soooo relate to what you wrote. And yes, we all have those teacher friends who come in before everyone else to have their room looking perfectly by the time everyone else comes to work on theirs....and I, too, would always feel that sense of panic and urgency thinking I'll never get mine done!! The good thing is, at the end of the week your classroom will have all come together and be that bright, cheery, stimulating room that you want your sweet students to enter and thrive in!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know how, but it always seems to come together in the end, doesn't it! (Although, I might be one of those friends who comes in early this year:)

      Delete
  2. Have me met? Have you watched me in my classroom? So true and funny! Thanks for the laugh amid the chaos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had no idea this would ring true for so many teachers! I thought I was one of the only ones. I am so glad I have so much wonderful company:)

      Delete
  3. Oh my gosh!! You are my favorite person in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD! You'd think after all these years of teaching I'd realize this happens every year....but no. I'm a goober. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, right? Every single year. I seriously never learn:)

      Delete
  4. So she'll have to go to school on Saturday and Sunday because the last 2 days before students arrive are PD days where she will listen to people drone on about the faculty handbook and the new procedures for referrals etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes just love going over that handbook lol

      Delete
    2. Deborah Bobo-were you in our building today?!?!? SOOOO True!

      Delete
  5. I'm sitting here laughing...I jut love this. Especially the Target bags hidden under the bed. Can I add garage sale books crammed in my trunk, supplies from Walmart.com delivered to school (so my husband doesn't know) and all the random craft supplies stored at my neighbors house? I love that we are all in the same boat. Here's to a great year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you slip those school things in with the groceries, they can go completely unnoticed! LOL! :)

      Delete
  6. What would the male teachers do? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure. I write from personal experience and my blog posts are filtered through my personal lens. Since I am not a man, I didn't write this piece from, or for, the male perspective. I wrote a piece that shares my feelings of being unfocused and overwhelmed at the beginning of a new school year. I intended to convey the anxiety, not the pronoun.

      Delete
    2. I'm sorry if I offended you or others. My reply was meant in jest.

      I loved the article!

      Delete
    3. LOL! Oh, good! I have received several responses this evening from very offended male teachers. The post was just meant to give us all a laugh at our back to school craziness, not leave anyone out:)

      Delete
  7. This is all too familiar. You gave me a good laugh, not to mention an urgent desire to rush to my classroom to sort things out.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is so me!! My Adhd brain 🤗

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have been retired for 17 years, and I still occasionally have nightmares about getting my classroom ready! I really enjoyed your post. It reminded me of "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie"!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me, too! I still have back-to-school nightmares after (yep!) 17 years of retirement.

      Delete
    2. Me, too! After 17 years of being retired, I still have back-to-school nightmares!

      Delete
    3. I'm close to retirement and one thing I'm most looking forward to is losing the nightmares. These comments make me sad. I hope the nightmares stop when I retire. I love my work, but I hate the anxiety it brings.

      Delete
  10. 23 year elementary male veteran teacher here. No offense taken. The offended men were surely not elementary teachers. In a world where I am usually the only man in the building or one of the few, getting offended is not worth the time.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am going into my 28th year of teaching and this is still me. I have been up to start on my room for three days and it is still a disaster. I keep rearranging it and can't quite get it right! I read this to my husband to try to get him to understand what is taking me sooooo long. He not only laughed along with me, but said that you described me perfectly. Will we see sequels to this story as the year goes on? I am thinking the "The Days Before a Teacher's Christmas Break", or maybe "Where the Conference Things Are?"

    ReplyDelete
  12. So True! As a male teacher speaking, I don't think gender affects us differently. I still go nuts and obsess until every last thing is put in place and perfect for the first day. Then I panic once again realizing I over planned and stressed out for nothing. The beauty is it all works out in the end!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Love this! As a male teacher in elementary I go through the same things. I obsess about getting my classroom in perfect order before school starts. On the first day I nervously wait for my students to come in unpack and get comfortable. Then the real panic comes in when I have to plan where all their stuff is going to be put in an already packed out classroom! It all works out in the end beautifully and you would think I would learn, but nope 17 years and counting and still panicking! Lol! Gotta love this crazy but rewarding profession!

    ReplyDelete
  14. My wife is a teacher, this doesn't seem to be true... OK it's exactly what happens as a great mom, never enough money and truly gifted teacher starts her year. The pile of stuff grows over the summer when bank account balance and deals match up. (A lot of deals are missed) She makes things special and has a bottomless supply of love for kids.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hah! I just LIVED this blog post on Friday!
    Jan
    Laughter and Consistency

    ReplyDelete
  16. And these days of prep are all unpaid days.....

    ReplyDelete
  17. Another retired teacher here! Oh yes, I remember! And the nightmares of " not being ready". I was so happy when my daughter was old enough to come in and help me cut stuff out to laminate! Sooooo much prep work! I always took two weeks! But, as you say.....all worth it in the end! I used to think, as I closed my door to leave on the Friday before school started...." It will never be this lovely, neat or clean again!" And yes.....every. Single. Year.

    ReplyDelete
  18. This sounds so much like me it is almost not funny- but i gave it a big roar and really related to these comments especially! I just love teachers and teaching- this is my 24th year! I still am crazy after all these years! I think the excitment or the nerves gets to me! Or both!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I am so glad that I am not the only one! This was wonderful! I was mentally visualizing myself as I read this. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Yep, you were watching ME. Bags everywhere! Target, Dollar Tree, home... Oh, so many emails to read. How about cleaning a desk drawer?! Oh there's that bookmarker set I love. Let's set up a mug of them at the bookshelves. Oh, these shelves are a wreck. There's that Gary Paulsen title I meant to read this summer. WAIT! Let's do a Featured Authors board. He'll be first. Back to the computer for some research on him....I'm exhausted. Let's get some Fiddle Faddle out of the Dollar Tree bag to snack on........

    ReplyDelete
  21. Bring on the illustrator! Perhaps royalties earned from publishing such a book could be used to establish a permanent 'back to school' supplies fund.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm a first year 8th grade math teacher, and am about to experience this. I've seen my classroom and been overwhelmed ever since, since it's my first classroom and it's a portable classroom. But I'm looking forward to setting it up!

    ReplyDelete