My four-day stint in special education is now over, and tomorrow I return to the same school as the librarian. I look forward to throwing the lesson plans out the window and forcing all classes to read The Velveteen Rabbit or Mr. Popper's Penguins. Or my all-time favorite, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
I think I will miss hallway duty the most. I had to man my post for 30 minutes each morning and again in the afternoon. That's an hour a day spent watching students coming and going. I loved how I could tell what day of the week it was based solely on how the kids were walking: Friday they pranced, Monday they trudged, Tuesday and Wednesday they were more alert and walked briskly. Tomorrow the prancing will return. And even though my main job was to make sure no one was running down the halls or swinging backpacks around, I loved (in my head at least) having the ability to start their day off on a positive note. When I was in elementary school, having a teacher give me a sincere, friendly greeting instantly put me in a good mood. (Note: I was very lame in elementary school.) I wanted to ensure that even if kids were tired or cranky or fought with their mom ten minutes earlier, that they felt welcome in school and knew that it could be a great day. I'm sure this would have been more effective if the kids actually knew who I was, but that was the plan.
One day I even had a friend join me for hall duty. A beetle was crawling around, and even when he looked like he was making a beeline (haha) for the adjacent corridor he always returned to my area. Since he was in the hall I named him Oates and decided that he would be my mascot. Then a second grader stepped on him. Needless to say, Oates was not the only one crushed that day.