Monday, April 20, 2009

When Roto-Rooter Just Won't Do

During one of my first years of teaching, my classroom toilet was very temperamental requiring regular calls to maintenance. These disruptions were annoyingly frequent and very distracting to the day's flow. Little did I know that all our toilet required was a first grade intervention.

I was in the middle of a hands-on addition lesson when I felt the tug at my sleeve. It was Georgia telling me that the toilet wouldn't flush again. Glancing up, not wanting to interrupt my discussion with another student, I told her to just close the door and we'd deal with it later.

Returning to my one-on-one, I was again interrupted not a minute later by Henry's shouting. "Don't worry Mrs B, I fixed it." Turning my head to see just what Henry was excited about, I saw him, sleeves pushed up, and arms raised in the air. There was water dripping from his elbows. In his right hand, he was holding a blob of white. Fearfully, I stood up for a closer inspection. My suspicions were confirmed when I discovered that the white blob was a giant wad of saturated toilet paper. Springing into action, I began running warm water while questioning Henry, "What in the world did you do?"

As I was scouring him from fingertips to biceps I learned that his fix was simple. He had reached his tiny, freckle-covered arm into the toilet and pulled the clog out. Noting the shock on my face, Henry quickly added, "Don't worry, my dad's a plumber. I know just what to do."

There were not enough bottles of hand sanitizer in that overstocked classroom to fulfill my disinfecting desires. I slathered Henry, myself, and the sink in it thus ending the day's math lesson.


This is your first friendly reminder that Teacher Appreciation Day/Week is just around the corner. As a former teacher, I can tell you that parental appreciation during that week and throughout the year really helps keep our motivation up. The gifts don't have to cost a thing. The heartfelt notes from parents and students, a bouquet of wildflowers, or a fresh baked basket of cookies mean the most.

How are you planning on showing your appreciation to those people who have been a major part of your child's life for the past year?


Midwest Mom said...

Goodness. I'm wondering what my son's classmates' Dads do for a living, now.

We usually get a gift certificate to our local teaching supply store for our favorite teachers. People don't realize that teachers put a lot of their own money into the job, even though they can be some of the most frugal people in the world!

There is nothing like letting them feel a little flush (pun absolutely intended) as a way to say "I appreciate you!"

- Julia

Kelly Jernigan said...

Because my Mom was a teacher for years, I have always had a respect for what teachers go through - I think it is often a tireless & thankless job. This past year I have made sure to thank Wyatt's PMO teacher whenever I can with both words & gestures, and will do the same for Teacher Appreciation - thanks for the reminder & the great story!!

Jo from Dixie said...

Both of my kids' room moms have collected money to give the teachers gift baskets filled with pampering products as well as gift cards for a spa visit to use as they'd like.

CSO said...

I still have a few notes from former students and their parents that I treasure -- and I've been out of the classroom for almost 10 years now. It's amazing what little it takes to feel appreciated.