Day 3 – August 11, 2022 The Cleansing

Sharing rooms with others is sometimes challenging. It requires patience, compassion, and consideration. When I started I was in a year-round school and so 4 of us shared three rooms.  You were on track for 9 and off for three. It was even better for us because we were in rooms 1, 3, & 5 so we just moved down the hall over the course of the year. There were some very important lessons I learned about teaching. Critical to teaching year-round is packing everything into a rolling cart that was 4 feet wide and 6 feet high using space wisely. We lived by the rule, “when in doubt, throw it out!” We also learned that if you haven’t used something in 18 months, you didn’t really need it. The other important lesson was consideration and sharing. The work day to move out/in was split into morning and afternoon. The morning was the time to pack and clear out of the room and the afternoon was the time for the person coming on track to set up their room. We worked like a well-oiled machine. When we were cleared out, we finished the day in another space completing paperwork or planning for the next block.

I had the joy of working with some of the finest teachers I have seen and we developed a rhythm to the process. However, there was one minor exception. (You knew this was coming, right?) The teacher that followed me had a ritual of preparing her room and I am sure that she would have been the same to anyone but I still can’t help feeling a little insulted. After I had left the room, she would “cleanse the room” before she moved in. This ritual meant the burning of a stick made from sage. That was bad enough but if you have ever smelled burning sage, it has a similar smell to other things that are now legal in Colorado. One of the times this happened a parent was walking down the hall and smelled the sage. She made a beeline to the main office and the principal to report that a teacher was smoking pot in the primary wing. Lucky the parent understood but the teacher was never allowed to have the door open again when “cleansing” my room.

As I promised as I began I said I would name names but sometimes I withhold the names but those that taught with me thirty years ago can guess! Tomorrow involves a break for freedom!