Thursday, July 1, 2010

Closure Is A Good Thing

I get up this morning at 5ish having slept about 15 minutes the whole night.

I did some laundry and some corresponding, dressed and headed over to school a bit before 8.

I have my ID badge that unlocks the main doors, no room key as principal said it would be open, remember?

Get to school, my badge lets me in.

Go upstairs, my door is locked and as I peer in, I note that it is so full furniture from another classroom I am not sure I will be able to get to my stuff.

Luckily there is major demolition/construction going on to install write boards so I ask one of those guys to let me in.

In I go.  I took very little.  I left so much stuff and realized this is probably how my aunt felt when she was facing terminal cancer.  She just detached form her belongings.

I only took my favorite workbooks to use as examples in my university methods course, my very-own-made-up-and-invented-by- little-old-me-mediation tools.  I was about done hefting all this crap in a laundry basket and a milk crate and wandered over to the big cabinet.

And.    Was.    Horrified.

Blatantly staring at me were three gigondo clear plastic bins filled with junkie toys. One bin labeled, 500 points.  One labeled 1,000 points.  One labeled 1,500 points.  And in each bin the size of the junk items grew in proportion to the number on the corresponding bin.

I actually yelled out, "Oh know!  What the fuck?"

I slammed the doors fast.

At this point may I encourage (insist) you all refer to Alfie Kohn's book, Punished By Rewards and then have a look at Daniel Pink's book, Drive.  

So on with the morning.  I sit at Aunt Sally.  I hang on to her.  I actually stroke her solid, smoothly worn beams.  I cry.  I finally cry.  I realize I am most sad about leaving Aunt Sally.  I apologized to her for not being used last year and that I would do all I could to get her back to kids.

I schlepp my stuff (just three loads) to the front door and hear my phone ring.  Not once, not twice, but three different times.

I load the car, check voice mail and hear the superintendent called and wants me to call him back.  You read that right, SUPERINTENDENT.  Oh brother.

I come home, have a nervous breakdown, talk to Hub and a sister to get my mojo going and return the call to THE SUPERINTENDENT.

Long story short, it was a pleasant call.  We exchanged a few jokes, he addressed all points in my letter to him, apologized (yes, APOLOGIZED) for not getting back to me about the November issue.  He told me he greatly appreciated my work, he even referenced Aunt Sally.  I told him I appreciate him taking the time to call and address my concerns, I wished him well and told him I would be ready and willing  to assist the district in any way.

OK, so it was damage control.

But I will take it.  Closure done professionally.  Too bad my principal couldn't do that.

Ooooh, gotta go, I see another door opening!


  1. I keep hoping someone - Art Teacher Extraordinaire, perhaps - can put Aunt Sally into the hands of kids again.

  2. Yes, Aunt Sally is moving down to Art Teacher Extraordinaire's room for ALL the kiddos to experience. This way I can also sneak in on weekends and weave.
    We have three looms in waiting... know of any special ed teacher that wants to use this in his/her program? If so, have them give me a call. We do all set up and teaching to get it started.


Although I am dangerously opinionated, I am a flexible thinker and welcome your thoughts.