I have my bookshelves arranged so that there is an area kind of separated off in the corner of the room by the door. I call this area my "office" and the kids aren't supposed to go over there. I don't actually do any work in there, even though that is where my desk is, rather I use it as a space to store materials that I don't want the kids to have access to. I have tons of storage space in my room (we are really lucky in that regard), yet for some reason, I have many supplies left in boxes from when I moved my supplies to my current school over a year ago. Then, when we officially moved back from Germany this past summer, my books came back and I added about 4 more boxes of books to the collection of boxes that is now taking over my "office."
Maybe it is that whole nesting thing that is starting to kick in, but I seriously feel like doing some major reorganizing and cleaning in there. The problem is, I have so many other things to do before and after school that I never get around to large scale organizing on school days. Mr. Sneaker is flying out very early tomorrow morning for a business trip, so I just may take a few hours (maybe more) to improve what's going on in that messy area.
I try to stay organized. Really I do. But, I am just not one of those teachers that has a specific place for everything who leaves everything just so before taking off in the afternoon. I just feel like I am trying to stay afloat with all the preparations and planning and meetings, and cleaning the room is not something that makes the to do list.
But, now that Jill will be in my space, I am starting to feel like it NEEDS to change. Unfortunately being close to 7 months pregnant is probably not the most ideal time to start a cleaning/organizing frenzy, yet I kind of feeling like if I have the urge, I am going to ride that wave and get it done.
Wish me luck with that.....
Also, one of my kiddos came in this morning with 2 boxes of cupcakes in a plastic bag and a note in her backpack from her mom saying today is her birthday.
::very big loud sigh::
(Please recall our birthday rules that I posted earlier this week which include NO CUPCAKES and please arrange birthday snacks with me in advance so I can make time in the schedule.....)
So, I told my little friend that cupcakes are not allowed, put them back in her backpack and wrote a note to her mom explaining that the rules went home at the beginning of the year stating that cupcakes are not allowed and that I need parents to give me notice if they will be sending in a snack. And, since she did not adhere to either of those rules, I would not serve the cupcakes. I apologized and said I won't make exceptions because let's face it, if I allow cupcakes in January, I will get cupcakes until June...
I didn't feel that bad about my choice to not serve the kids the cupcakes, but I did feel bad that this parent had already spent money on the cupcakes. I started to think about what her reaction would be when her child arrived home on her birthday with 24 uneaten cupcakes still in her backpack. So, I kind of started to feel a bit Grinchy.
I didn't serve them in class, because we definitely had a full day and there isn't time to stop and have a snack and then deal with the repercussions of kids who somehow lose the ability to listen after ingesting sugar. But, this child attends our extended day program during which the kids eat lunch. I consulted with the teacher who supervises those kiddos and after making sure there were enough cupcakes for kids in that group I decided to pass them out to the kids as they were eating their lunch. I revised my note (leaving the first part intact), but adding that I didn't want the cupcakes to go to waste so I served them to that group during lunch instead of our class.
I kind of feel like I wussed out on truly standing by my rule, but I don't want to be completely unreasonable about it. I just get really frustrated with parents who clearly don't pay attention to the rules and then get I defensive thinking that they are going to think I am being a pain by denying their child a birthday celebration in class. I was even thinking over break that I should send a reminder note home and after this week with two birthday incidents involving parents not giving me any warning about bringing cupcakes on the day of their kids' birthday, I think I definitely need to send that note home. My teammate and I talked about making our rules even clearer next year stating that birthday celebrations are conducted around our academic schedule and won't necessarily take place on a child's actual birthday and that if we are not given notice about the snack being sent to school that we will send it home because we don't have extra time to stop and have snack (especially in half day and especially sugar-filled snacks that make the kids crazy).
Ok, rant over. Next year, I'll just include a reminder on the monthly calendar that goes home so there is no excuse for not knowing the mean, grinchy, cranky birthday rules.