Friday, February 12, 2010

Tales of the Traveling Teacher Box

Have I mentioned that I love being back in the classroom? It’s exhausting, but it gives me that sense of part time purpose without the full time frustration. The one frustration that I DO have about being back in the classroom would be that confounded teacher mess that follows me around my house like toilet paper stuck to the bottom of my shoe.

When you teach part time out of a glorified bookroom, all the planning and creative teachery must be done at home. Usually, I carve out time one day a week to do mine. That means that the rest of the time, all the stuff which I had stashed in a tote, behind a door, in Innie Paradise has to be flopped out front and center for me to use.

The problem is that I don’t really have a space to spread out and work. So it travels. It meanders down from the attic to the den closet where it escapes out into the den and creeps into the kitchen. Inevitably, it takes root in the dining room, spreading across the table, to the chairs, down to the floor, and eventually going to seed in the dining room carpet. Oh, I try to prune it back a little, but it just grows in another direction. The teaching mess to this house is like the kudzu vine that ate the south. I don’t control it; it controls me. This causes irritation and frustration when I want to actually use the dining room for its intended purpose and a sense of panic and apology preparation every time I hear the front door bell ring.

Because when a guest drops by, this is what he might see:

On the table

On the chairs

On the floor

So last week, I decided to go on kudzu offensive. I planted a better garden on my dining room table. I figured, if I set a lovely table, my teaching kudzu would not propagate. So, I added two more orange chargers to match Grama's table cloth and set the table for four. Not only is it prettier, but it’s ready for the weekend meal to boot.

Mission accomplished.
Now, when a guest comes to the front door and looks to his right, he sees this:

Of course, when he looks to his left, he sees this.

To be continued…obviously...

1 comment:

Jennie said...

I have similar anxiety over the doorbell and similar stacks. Unfortunately, I don't have the traveling teacher thing to blame it on! It looks great! (And again, love your blog!)


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