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?)