Tuesday, June 9, 2015


I found this meme on this facebook site. It resonated with me, given that last week and this week has been spent shifting materials deemed "too good to give or throw away" from home to school, or from one classroom to another.  

On Friday I thought I'd removed the things that were most necessary -- personal items, and materials that could easily support high school learners as much as junior high learners.  So when Sarah, my partner in crime - and the sole junior high teacher next year, called to alert me about more stuff she'd unearthed, it was evident that another trip to the Junior High was in order to rescue Hermann and Pauline.

They're hedgehogs.  (Stuffed, because real hedgehogs are illegal in Pennsylvania.)  Hermann and Pauline were purchased at a discount store for the low, low, low price of $3 for the pair.  I had just finished teaching Alice in Wonderland, and we'd had to (gasp!) use regular old tennis balls to play croquet with our lawn flamingos borrowed from the youth group at church, when I discovered them for sale.  Needless to say, I snatched them up.  The year was 2004.

While I haven't read Alice with students since that time, the hedgehogs, named for Einstein's parents, have been unofficial class pets.  When I turn one over and hear it groan, (they have voiceboxes in them..) I still see Emily giggling in middle school.  (And she's been out of high school for 3 years.)  Other students have enjoyed torturing teachers in my room with the odd noises emitted from Hermann and Pauline, and one student made a tiny Albert to join his parents one year in Family and Consumer Sciences.  I know that Tyler will be glad that they are headed to the high school the same year that he is.

Like many teachers, I am also a hoarder of school supplies.  There's a bit of a headrush that happens when Staples starts running the "Most Wonderful Time of the Year" commercial, and when Walmart and Target offer Crayola markers at obscenely low prices.  New paper and notebooks are a big part of why I became a teacher -- I am drawn to office supplies like a moth to a flame.  Despite the condition of my cabinets, I like my markers in ROY G. BIV order, and mourn the loss of the dried up Flamingo Pink, along with my students who have the creativity gene that causes this panicky feeling.

Yes, I know I have 22 unopened packs of markers and now teach high school.  And yes, my high school kids have emphasized the need for the addition of glue sticks AND Elmer's Glue to the art totes in my room next year.  I've brought home more books than one could possibly read in a summer -- and none of them are close to a SINGLE shade of Grey, let alone 50.  My summer reading will be Qualitative Observation techniques, and the fascinating world of Creativity via the Disney Imagineers and Edward DeBono and his Six Thinking Hats.

Day 1 of Summer is nearly in the books.  I've not yet eaten a bonbon, and I was up at 6:08, digitally speaking.  Many things on the TO DO list were crossed off today, and there are still 3 hours until sundown.  Maybe I'll go grab another "mystery box" out of my car to sort through, because chances are pretty good that I'll drop at least a few things off in my classroom tomorrow.

After all, my stuffed unicorn at the high school will need to be formally introduced to Hermann and Pauline.

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