>Just when you thought it was safe to stop cleaning…

>I had just finished cleaning up the majority of the wake of Thanksgiving dinner at our house when this email turned up in my school inbox.

“I received a phone call this afternoon stating that the BOE [Board of
Education] has to go into closed session from 6:30 – 7:00 next Monday night.
They need a classroom to hold the closed session and due to your proximity to
the LMC [library], you win ~lucky you! Please see me regarding how the Powers
That Be mentioned setting up the room.”

Our local school board meets in a variety of venues throughout the year. This month, you guessed it, it’s my building. And as you can tell by the principal’s note, my room is the closest to the library, where the majority of the meeting will be held. When it’s time to meet in “closed session,” they’ll move into my room.

Most board members will be too busy with the meeting agenda to look around them. But just like at home, I’d like to make sure the room reflects positively on me and my students.

So… my lesson plans for Monday will include:

–desk cleaning for every student
–floor cleaning ( a pet peeve: how can so many pencils go rolling around the floor each day? Pick them up!)
–straightening the Book Nook and Reading Table
–cleaning/ straightening my own desk (kind of a scary proposition)
–adding tape to any art works threatening to fall from wall
–find out what kind of arrangement the board wants
–involve the students in any necessary re-arranging

I feel like my storage area on top of the cupboards is very cluttered, but there’s not much I can do. Most of what I own is up there in boxes, and most of those boxes are full of books. Maybe I can straighten the boxes a little. The counter area is a bit overcrowded, too. But anything I move from the counter will end up on top of the cupboards, making that area worse. I think I’m stuck on this one.
My overhead screen doesn’t stay down unless I loop the cord around a hook below the chalk tray. It’s quite worn, too. I can’t avoid that; it will have to be Exhibit A in the impact of revenue caps.
Since it’s still November, the basic room decor can stay the same. I don’t feel pressured to put up anything that screams “Holidays!!” quite yet — if ever, that is.

I’m sure this is a case of Murphy’s Law. If I do nothing, board members will look around the room and comment on it to my principal. If I knock myself out getting the room ready, their closed session will either be very short or cancelled altogether, and no one will even look beyond the door of the room.

I’ll feel best about the whole situation if I approach it with the children as a matter of pride in their surroundings, ownership of their learning space. Then, no matter what happens at the evening meeting, I’ll know I grabbed the teachable moment.

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