When I had fully recovered from my weekend of fun and frolic and went back to work on Monday, I turned my attention to my classroom. You remember, the one in which there had to be a massive cleanup due to the discovery of vermiculite laced with asbestos? Oh okay, if you want to be picky, it ended up being a cleanup of every single classroom in the whole school, but this is my blog so I’ll write what I want. And I want to write about my classroom.
So: one of my tables was wobbly. I only figured this out when I sat down with a kid the other day and got him to do some writing. He was just a little kid, but that table nearly buckled under the pressure of his skinny little arm. So that needed to be fixed. All that was necessary was to tighten the screws on each adjustable leg of the table, so this wouldn’t be a huge job.
I had also unearthed a room divider to separate the kids’ computer station from the rest of the room. This divider is necessary because while I’m teaching small groups of kids, I’d prefer that they not be disturbed too much by other kids who come in at various times during the day to work independently on this special computer program on one of the two laptops in the corner. This program is supposed to “retrain the brain”, but we only got it at our school last spring and no one has yet completed the program, so I’m not sure if anyone’s brain has actually been modified thus far.
But anyway, this divider was exactly what I needed – except that it too was extremely wobbly. When the principal and I had carted it down to my classroom, we had flipped it over to see how its stands were attached, and he had quickly deduced that the nuts just needed tightening. Preferably with a wrench. Finger tightening wouldn’t quite work for this job.
Now, for little repairs like these, we are supposed to ask our custodians. They, of course, have nothing better to do than to fix things for teachers. Clean the school? Nah, not when there’s things to fix!
And if the job is too big or complicated for them, we are supposed to put in a work order for someone from the maintenance crew to come out and do whatever it is. Sure, and they’ll show up in about six weeks. And in the meantime, whatever needed to be fixed has now completely broken and must now be replaced at great cost.
So I brought my good wrench and my trusty screwdriver to school this morning. And I tightened the screws on that table just like that. And I quickly got the nuts on that divider good and tight too. Nothing wobbled any more. I was most pleased with myself!
I put the room divider back into its place beside the computer station. I’d had to move out another table (not the previously-wobbly one) to pull the divider out, so now I shoved that table back against the wall. Just a little too enthusiastically, possibly …
The clock on the wall of the classroom next door to mine immediately crashed to the ground. Its plastic cover popped off and the clock stopped ticking. I don’t think I can fix it with my wrench and screwdriver.