Two score and four years ago . . . A difficult job An unfortunate situation Unrealistic expectations
I found a vacant lot. “I should have googled it. Did I really think that I would remember the exact location?” The new building, the replacement school, has been there for more than 30 years. “What was I thinking? Duh!”
Not thinking! Duh!
Why now? What crazy impulse had possessed me to drive around . . . today?
Spare time? A feeling of nostalgia? Perhaps the search for a story brought back the idea. An attempt to verify facts . . . shore up the details!
It was just a job. One of THREE job assignments that I had for work study.
Lunchroom Monitor in a K-6 school building.
Rows and rows of these tables.
“Your job,” said my supervisor, “is to make sure that students are quiet. We would prefer NO talking, but that’s pretty impossible. Whispers only, AND ONLY when everyone is done eating.”
My work study job.
Was there even a minimum wage back then?
(Back to the topic!)
One of my first paying jobs was to “supervise” elementary students and make sure they were quiet in the lunchroom. In fact, so quiet that they were ONLY whispering in the lunchroom, after they had finished eating.
Not my first lunchroom job as I had wrapped silverware, scraped trays and cleaned tables in grade six for free lunches. (But I digress AGAIN!)
I was six years older than some of these kids. Kids that didn’t look like me.
Kids with lots of energy especially after they had finished their lunch and could not go outside until the bell rang. Kids who were not supposed to talk. And yes, this was before lunchroom stop signs for noise levels had been invented!
What did I do?
I shut the door.
I am sure that there are those of you, dear readers, who are shocked that I would subvert authority just as there are those of you nodding your head and saying, “Go, girl.”
It was a paying job.
They were to be quiet.
My job was to “supervise”.
However, I would argue that my job was NOT to “stupor-vise” and falsely require students to be as silent as a church mouse. (Definitely an old colloquial simile.)
Contrast that with the teachers’ lunchroom in the same building during the same time period. It was impossible to hear yourself talk in a conversational voice in any corner or even in the middle of that room. Definitely not quiet. Definitely not whispering. The hypocrisy bothered me. Power? Position? Abuse of power? I didn’t know any of those phrases.
But what I knew was that kids should be kids.
So we made an agreement. A bit of my job/your job and some negotiation.
The kids would eat quietly. The focus was on eating, and that oh, so careful mastication! After cleaning trays, students could move around the room, congregating in twos, threes and more. Leaning in, chatting quietly, relaxing. Not wandering aimlessly because the wooden floor was quite noisy.
Both sides being reasonable.
A realistic negotiated conversation.
Waiting behind closed doors for freedom to ring from the playground bell . . . the signal to run, yell, and play hard!
Have you ever broken a rule for the “right” reason?
Have you ever fought back against a perceived injustice?
How did that work out for you?
And the rest of the story . . . The next year I still had “in school” work study jobs, but I was not back at that elementary school. Younger, less impressionable students who believed in following the rules were recruited . . .
And I was thankful to be released from the quietude of the lunchroom packed with students.
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
Single digits now remain
Where once 180 were yet unwrapped.
Days filled with reading, writing, speaking and listening
Math, science, social studies and all those specials.
Days rushed by
90 minutes plus of reading
Was it enough?
Time to continue learning
Time to celebrate learning
Time to read and write
Advice for the next class
Wishes for the next year
Final blog entries
Final skype sessions
Saying “hello” as we acknowledge where we began
Saying “goodbye” as we note our accomplishments
Time for more reading and more writing
Making our summer plans
Because reading and writing don’t end
Although the 180 days will soon close the classroom door.
We are readers and writers EVERY day!
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, and Stacey. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. Thank you for this weekly forum!
(During March, I am blogging daily as a part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge!)
I am traveling this weekend so this post invites you the reader to “think” and respond!
An icebreaker commonly used at large professional development sessions is called “Two Truths and a Lie.” Each person records two truths and a lie and then shares them with another person that they do not know. The listener is supposed to determine which statements are Truths (facts) and which one is the Lie.
Today’s variation in this blog is 2 Truths and 1 Lie about my dad’s education and then 2 Truths and 1 Lie about my education. See if you can spot the “Lie” for dad and me. Enter your answers in the comments. I’ll be back later with clues.
My dad and education:
1) Dad went to a one-room schoolhouse for elementary.
2) Dad walked a mile to school (one way) from his aunt and uncle’s house where he lived during the week.
3. Dad and his brother were the first in his family to graduate from high school.
A. I went to a four room country school for kindergarten.
B. My third grade and sixth grade teachers had taught my dad.
C. We did not have snow days where we missed school during kindergarten because a dad would put straw in the pickup and haul all the kids and neighbors’ kids to school!