There weren’t many things that were funny this week. It’s that time of year where individual testing is being finished up, projects are due for grading, vacancies for next year are being filled, classrooms needing to be packed, so on and so forth. Most people have an edge to them. We are more likely to snap, to cry, or to hide out in our own classroom. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel and most just want to bunker down and make it across the finish line with all body parts intact, while trying to enjoy the great end-of-the year moments with the students.
Like many people who work in blended roles (part teacher, part literacy coach, part curriculum coordinator, part cow herder) I sometimes end up doing jobs that wouldn’t otherwise get done. A classroom teacher “owns” so many problems, piles, and questions, the last thing anyone wants is another problem, pile or question to deal with.
One of our buildings was very lucky that the PTO agreed to tackle a problem, pile and question as part of Teacher Appreciation Week. The “junk and good-stuff you might need one day” area–I’m sure many schools have one of these; teachers have been trained to be natural hoarders to survive during slim times (“By god, I’m not going to have another orange pine tree like I had in 1984!). Our problem area is a “stage”. It was a real stage at one point in what was the Multi-purpose room, but now it is a “room” blocked off from the music room with large sound-proof panels. It gets heat (lots in the warm months!) and not much air. I usually start sweating within three minutes of arriving. It’s where teacher-y things go to die because someone can’t bear to throw it away or “someone might need it one day”.
There are freebie-textbook workbooks. The kind that publishers throw in to try to “sweeten the deal”, but no one ever wanted, props from musicals of the past, half-broken chart stands, outdated dictionaries, encyclopedias and more!
My favorite finds while I helped the PTO try to interpret what had to be saved from “it looks good, but no one has or will ever use it”, to the “it’s lived a good life and now it needs to be recycled”, are pictured below.
There was a very large, sturdy, waxed box. On top of the box was a typed (like on a typewriter, not what I am doing now) index card listing all the contents of the box. I blew up the card in case so you can enjoy it as much as I did.
This Equipment in the Box Marked bananas
Box 1 of 5
1 first aid tin of various screws extra
8 ropes of various lengths
Many of you reading know that I also attended this elementary school as a child, so when a teacher’s name is unfamiliar, it’s because they taught there before 1976!
I have to say I am part impressed/part scared by this OCD organizer! To carefully inventory, type, and adhere a note card to a plantation box of bananas, took a great deal of work on someone’s part. I also found “This equipment in the box labeled dog biscuits Box 3 of 5“. Both boxes contained items that would have been used to conduct experiments for a science unit.
There really should be a “teacher museum” for fabulous finds like this, as well as the large plastic and metal briefcase that contained all it’s components of magnets and a bound book of experiments dated 1963, priced $4.00.
What’s the best thing you’ve “found” this year?