I’m back at school setting up my new classroom. The floors are shiny, but everything else is old and worn. There are cobwebs and leaves in the window ledges and the wood is splintered. My new teacher desk is not new. There are no smart boards, or rainbow carpets or even an alphabet on the wall. This is it. Bare bones.
No matter! I really mean that. I don’t mean get out your violins and start playing. Nope. I am here and soon my team of little elves will be working along side me to spruce things up and get some art on the walls and writing on the bulletin boards. As we all know, a classroom is made of a group of primates who will spend the year together. We are setting off on a long voyage with all hands on deck!
I have the most important thing at my disposal: books! Inside these closets is my vast collection of stories. In the early years of teaching, classrooms came with a library of books. No more. Someone along the way decided that wasn’t important. At least in my district. But I’ve amassed my own collection from little free libraries, other teachers discards, and lots and lots of donations from you over the years.
When a teacher moves into a new room it is not equipped with anything other than what you bring with you, desks, chairs, and maybe bookcases. We can order supplies, but these are rudimentary at best. If you live in an affluent area with nice schools this may come as a shock, but if you are a teacher in LA and you’ve been at a variety of different inner city schools you’ve seen the reality.
Teachers who work in schools like mine are doing things for themselves. So I thank you kindly for your donations over the many years. They’ve been massively appreciated. New teachers who arrive at our inner city schools are sometimes disheartened and shocked at what they’re getting into, but old pragmatic dogs like me, we know the ropes. We know the real magic is not in the fancy desks and new-fangled bouncy chairs or smartboards.
For a variety of reasons, this year I’m not using Donor’s Choose to fund necessities for my classroom, everything will be through my Amazon Classroom Wishlist. It’s simpler, more direct, and ends up costing less to the donors. If you wish to donate, I thank you for your generosity in advance.
I am headed to my porch. Portal to all things bright and wonderful. I am ever grateful for this shady perch. The blather inside my head loses its heft and gentle winds carry it up into the sky. Birds make music that replace the old stories.
The dear creatures I share my life with are a constant comfort. How I love them!
I’ve been able to relax a bit and come to better terms with their health issues.
They fill Moss Cottage with a sense of aliveness.
Otto likes to help me at the computer.
On My Bookshelf
I can’t recommend this book enough. I’m already dreading its end, but am thankful Susan Moon has written more! She is longtime Zen Buddhist and Californian. Such wisdom in these pages for all women, but especially those who are past mid-life.
I’ve been on an Elizabeth Strout kick all summer. Each one of her books is a deep pleasure to read. What a rarity in a writer to find one book after another this good.
Tomorrow’s ZOOM is @ 11. Go to the OMG class blog for details. If you’re tuning in I’ll see you there.
If you wish to turn this one-way conversation into a two-way you can deposit your thoughts below. I always look forward to reading them. Take good care of your tender selves. See you soon!