Day one is done

The first day of school is now over. And for me, it wasn’t so bad.

Much to my astonishment, The Great Vermiculite Clean-up of 2009 was, in fact, completed on time. The manager of the clean-up project came to explain what had gone on over the past week, that they had two companies on the job, working around the clock to get the classrooms ready for this morning. The only part of the job that they couldn’t quite finish was the cleaning of the furnaces and air ducts in each room, so that will be done in the evenings while no teachers or kids are there. We were told that this would take about a week at that rate. That’s fine by me, since it’s still too warm to have the furnaces turned on anyway.

The big issue for all of us is the things that the cleaners threw out because they couldn’t clean them properly. Things like the kindergarten dress-up clothes, puppets, stuffed animals, cushions, area carpets, couches. room dividers – anything made with fabric is now history. Even all our ergonomic teacher chairs are gone!

But all things considered, those cleaners did a pretty good job, I think. They even had to remove everything from each teacher desk, wipe every centimetre of the desk inside and out, then try to put everything back in its correct place. In my desk, at least, most of my items were right where they should have been, and if they weren’t, they were close enough. I’m sure they would have tried to do the same thing in my big cupboard and in my filing cabinet, but I’d locked those, so they couldn’t get in. I don’t imagine that there would be much vermiculite dust inside them, anyway.

Also, to my immense joy, they put all my furniture right back where I had placed it last week (for the second, and in some cases, the third time)! And another exciting discovery was a small shelf unit that someone didn’t want and so donated to me, since this classroom is incredibly shelf-challenged. So after the kids left, I spent the rest of my day happily getting to know all my teaching materials again, unpacking boxes and arranging and rearranging. I haven’t yet finished putting up all my posters and my wall alphabet, or neatly stacking under a table the books and boxes that don’t fit on my few shelves, but I can do that tomorrow.

I mean, tomorrow I’ll have to do something to keep myself busy. After all, I don’t have a desk chair, so it’s going to be really tough to sit at my desk and drink coffee or play on the Intarnets. (I wonder how soon we’ll get new chairs?)

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9 responses to “Day one is done

  1. One down, 300 or so to go?

  2. hannah – When dealing with even minimal levels of asbestos (which is what we were told was in the vermiculite that was blown through most of the school in the air/ heating ducts), no chances are taken with items that cannot be simply wiped down with some special solution: they bag it securely and toss it in the landfill. That creates other problems, true, but the thinking seems to be that no one would want items that are possibly permeated with minute amounts of asbestos.

  3. Seems like they threw out a bunch of stuff that could have been donated to the Salvation Army.
    Unless that stuff was REALLY dirty!

  4. VioletSky – I wonder about that too, but we’ve been told that everything will be replaced as far as possible. Maybe they’ll take it out of the Winter Olympic budget?

    Irene – Oh yeah, right, I’m supposed to be teaching. (Gotta remember to keep thoughts in my head, not on the page!)

    Jazz – What a great idea! (Except that I don’t really want all my area carpets and upholstered furniture to be thrown out.)

    XUP – Who knows? With all the budget cuts in BC recently (yay Olympics!), I doubt there is a contingency fund for situations like this. I sure hope there is some form of insurance!

  5. Wow – nice surprise. I didn’t know they still allowed plush toys, dress-up clothes and other fabrics in kindergartens with all the head lice issues and germaphobia around. So, ya – how will they replace all that? Is there vermiculite insurance or something?

  6. Maybe you can get them to come clean your house?

  7. What do you mean, play on the Internet? You don’t have time for that! You need to teach!

  8. Wow. I am impressed. Who knew cleaners could be so fastidious! That is an awful lot of accessories to be replaced… wonder where the funds for that will come?