Ever wonder why teachers give up their vacation day to go set up their classrooms? If you are thinking it's to set up their classrooms, you would be partially correct. But the real reason is the annual scavenger hunt. Every year class enrollment rises, and the teacher doesn't have enough desks and chairs to go around. And, in elementary school not only do you need the extra desks for students, but for centers too.
There's the Math Table to hold math games, pattern blocks, and the like. Then there's the Writing Table filled with all kinds of colored papers, legal pads for drafts, colored pencils and of course writing aids, like a thesaurus. The Science Table is filled with rocks, thermometers, hand lenses, and science kits. The Technology Center...that's the desk that holds the computer since not all classrooms have a computer table. The Art Table is filled with crayons, markers and construction paper. And don't forget The Conference Table...a place to conference on their writing pieces, reading, and work one-on-one with the student away from the other students.
In a Jack Welch world, any good school system that projects an increase in enrollment in June and conducts the needed inventory would order the extra desks and chairs in time for the new school year. Or perhaps there are extra chairs and desks in the basement storage room--you know--the old wooden ones with the student's name carved into it and dated 1963. And next to them are the chairs that wobble. We who work in NYC already know not to bother the principal with such trivial matters. The extra seating provided by floors and window sills would do fine by them.
So the yearly scavenger hunt begins and it usually takes the shape of going into an already opened, unattended classrooms and taking one from this room, another from that room and so on, and so on. You try desperately to avoid your friend's classroom and go to the teachers you have little respect for....The Gossip, The Complainer, The Suck-Up, The Spy.
But wait!! What's this?? Now the teachers are using permanent magic markers to brand the desks and chairs they themselves stole last year with their room numbers!!!
Views expressed herein are solely those of the author or authors, and do not reflect views of my employers, the United Federation of Teachers, the MORE Caucus or any other union caucus.
Stories herein containing unnamed or invented characters are works of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.