Stacked Chairs Mean Everything

I don’t take sick days very often.  Unless I’m deathly ill, it’s actually way more work than it’s worth.  There’s all the prep work for the guest teacher coming into my class (or Educator-on-Call, as we call them), and then there’s the whole dealing with the aftermath. Totally way more work.

Well last week, circumstance was such that I had to take not one, but TWO days off from work.  Prepping for someone to come in takes FOR-EVER. Spending three hours or so is not unusual.  Materials need to be put out, lessons need to be written and a detailed plan of the day (usually a standard four pages) needs to be explicitly laid out.  Knowing hand washing routines, or which group goes to the library, or when you get a sticker for home reading, is critical to the day running smoothly.  The kids depend on routines and let’s be honest – so do I.

Of course, not all teachers are as weirdly particular as I choose to be. Surely their classrooms are productive and nurturing environments.  Such teachers probably have fewer grey hairs and more agreeable blood pressure to boot. I just don’t work that way.

Besides, if I don’t put in the time to lay out lengthy and clear instructions, my classroom is in a state of chaos when I return.  A stranger using your classroom is like Goldilocks sleeping in your bed.  She should certainly tidy up before she leaves, non?  It doesn’t always work that way.

Not to mention whenever I’m away, someone loses a shoe, writing implements disappear, things break, someone cries and the new student who was supposed to come to class two days before, finally arrives and is completely confused.

Like I said, it’s way too much work to be away.  Better pop some ibuprofen – I feel crummy just thinking about it.

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