Gould Academy mixes it up. What is in a classroom?
OVERHEARD IN THE THEATER: “Do I smell like an orange? I think I smell like an orange.”
I am a classroom teacher. I do many things here, from morning dishes to play reherasal to evening duty to unscheduled trips to the emergency room with advisees (and all of those happened YESTERDAY). But when people ask me what I do, my answer is pretty much the same every time. It looks a little like this:
(Random guy next to me at the post office) “So, what do you DO?”
(Me, trying to figure out what he means) “Uhh, well, I get up, brush my teeth, then I…”
(Random guy) “No, I mean what is your job?”
(Me, shifting gears) “Oh, that. Yeah, I’m a classroom Spanish teacher.”
(Guy, echoing what always gets said next) “Oh. I took 28 years of Spanish in high school. I don’t remember any of it.”
Pretty much always like that. I wonder what would happen if I started responding to other people’s jobs the way they respond to me:
“A banker? Gee, I’ve been using money for 47 years. I don’t remember what it’s used for.”
“A plumber? Wow, ya know, I’ve been flushing the toilet for ages. I don’t have any idea where all that water goes.”
“So you’re a consultant? Hey, I’ve been telling people what to do for forever. they mostly don’t listen.”
It’s really such a funny response, but it’s pretty much universal. Except when they say “hey, that’s cool.” Then I know that they are teachers too.
But that’s not what this GLOG is about. What I’m really writing about is the upcoming shake-up at the Academy. We are moving classrooms. Well, technically the classrooms are staying where they are, but the teachers are moving. Lots of them. I’m about to move to my fourth classroom, having had three other rooms over the past 24 years. And any time one moves from one room to another, there are mixed feelings. One feeling is “Cool, I’m going to get to imagine an entirely new space!” Another is “Hmm, I wonder if I’ll find that US passport that I lost 8 years ago.” Personally, I like the idea of moving. It’s a mini-adventure for me. A new, blank canvas upon which to paint my didactic masterpiece. SO I start with a list of what I’d like to see in my new space. Here, in no particular order, is my current list. In my new room, I would like:
- A special shelf to keep my coffee cups. At any given moment I have about 40 recently used coffee mugs eating up horizontal spaces.
- A really good pencil sharpener. Any student will tell you how valuable this is.
- An umbrella stand. I don’t really need one, but it sounds cool to say I have one.
- A real light saber. Green, please.
- Curtains, not blinds. Curtains add a certain homey charm to a classroom.
- A welcome mat, in Spanish. I think that’d put people off guard right from the start.
- A sign over the door that says “Abandon hope all ye who enter here.” In Spanish.
- A Pez dispenser, shaped like a fish. Because “pez” is Spanish for “fish.” get it?
- A comfy chair. Because everyone needs a comfy chair now and then.
Feel free to donate to my cause. I take checks, credit cards, and light sabers.
Especially light sabers.