Caring/“Choose your battles” / Tales Out of School


Aside: Today’s delayed post brought by way of the courteous and competent assistance of the Apple Store, where my computer was freed from the clutched of “adware” by the able young man doing check-ins (never even made it to the genius bar). It was an embarrassingly easy solution, which I’m sharing anyway, in case anyone else is as clueless as I was. Force quit Safari (under the Apple icon), selecting “do not reopen windows.” He also ran a scan for any other problems and declared me “good to go.”
I perhaps should have stayed a while to work with their fast internet, and thought of working at Starbucks, but there was a line so I came home to have some of the Chocolate & Strawberry Puer tea my friend Bob sent . . . and a nap. Malls, even for a brief visit) are exhausting.

Caring/“Choose your battles” / Tales Out of School

A colleague early on advised me to “pick your battles.” Some students were just so hard to reach, but somewhere, under the reluctance, they must have been learning, too. I did keep trying, and caring, and they so often returned the care, just when I needed it most.

When the “rebels without a clue” walked out of school one spring day, we kept the remaining students in class, extending the hour so that there would not be more. As time ticked on, students complained that it was then their lunch time, and they were hungry. I had a box of granola bars in my desk drawer, cut them in thirds, and we had a small snack, loaves and fishes style.

I used to keep green stickers in my classroom, for those who forgot to wear green and didn’t want to be pinched. I could relate, having once shown up at my office in ORANGE on St. Patrick’s Day!

I did replace the box of Puffs with rolls of school t.p. at the suggestion of Eunice, our favorite custodian, when I complained that a student had used half a box to clean her shoes. Good problem-solving! I also kept unscented lotion for all to use, as an alternative to their lovely scented products that set off my allergies.

On My Desk
by Mary Garrett

On my desk I see,
Pens and pencils and scissors and markers,  
In two separate holders,
As if one weren’t enough.
By the end of the day,
Both might be empty, 
As I leave pens all over the school.

I see a variety of rubber stamps, 
To decorate the “on-time” papers 
Of students with “good work habits,”
And, by their absence, brand 
The lazy and disorganized.

There’s a box of Kleenex,
My little contribution
To the physical comfort of my scholars.

The desk is covered with books“ and papers,
Ideas I want to share, 
That we never have quite enough time for.
Why do the trivial necessities of attendance and tests,
Have to get in the way of the intellectual gems
That would be so much more worthwhile and memorable?

By the end of the day, there will be a layer
Of miscellaneous papers 
Not handed in at the “proper” time,
Half-read announcements,
Notes from the office, hall passes,
Book club orders, leftover cake from lunch,
And scattered pens and pencils.

I will take the half hour after school 
To sort through the papers, 
Re-check the attendance,
Put away the pens,
Eat the cake,
And place prominently in the center of the desk
The article I hope to have time 
To read to the class tomorrow.

A2Z-BADGE-000 [2015] - Life is Good11084301_10152820080385028_48227205056877781_n


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Lanise Brown
    Apr 09, 2015 @ 03:44:44

    Cute poem, Mary. Live long and prosper. 🙂


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