Thursday, November 15, 2007

Help Wanted

By noon today, I had reached the point of no return.  Whenever anyone entered my classroom, be they child or adult, I simply said,

  "And what would you like to tell me I am going to be doing to help you today?"

 It was easier than going with traditional sorts of greetings.  We got right to the point.  I have a rather lengthy list of things that I have been told I will be doing as favors and there is little time for chit chat.  

I was afraid for a while there that I might be hyper-focused on my own needs.  I worried that I was maybe just a lazy sort of Sheep who wants to do as little as is possible in any given day.  But, when my Cheerful Teaching Assistant noted that there seemed to have been a rather inordinate number of helpless individuals at our doorstep this week, I knew that it wasn't just me.

I'm probably just grumpy.  I had one of my very, very rare bouts of sleeplessness last night.  This is highly unusual and leads me to pondering why I am awake rather than snoozing.  This, of course, leads to more of the awakeness.  If I managed three hours last night I'd be surprised.

I arose this morning almost nauseous from the lack of sleep and even considered taking a mental health day.  But, I feared what might happen to The Helpless should I not be at school bright and early.  Without my guidance, who knows what chaos might engulf the building?  

It's a good thing I made that call.  It seems that my Cheerful Teaching Assistant did not have my issues with insomnia last night.  She slept so soundly that she missed her alarm.  When she had failed to arrive at work an hour after her designated Time To Start Being Cheerful So I Can Find The Will Deal With All Those Helpless People, I became concerned and asked the school secretary to give her a call. (This call woke her from a dead sleep and is the only reason she made it in before lunch)

  I was also a little busy because there were kids to teach, a classroom in which I was supposed to be providing support and a teacher standing outside my door frantically waving her arms and informing me that I was to call the parent of a child on her caseload because, "I told her that you know all about family support resources in the area and she is needs you to give her a list of people she can call RIGHT NOW!!!!!"  

(For the record, that last request is darned near impossible without some fairly specific pieces of information about the family, their insurance and other sorts of pesky details...it was 1:00 before I could gather the information needed.  It is also rather difficult to do when you don't have a handy Cheerful Teaching Assistant around to cover your classroom)

The rest of the day was spent finishing up all the major projects that kids should have been working on for the last few weeks, (but didn't and believe that this is all my fault), tending to The Helpless that came to me in adult packages and covering classes until my Cheerful Teaching Assistant (who has never looked more rested) could make it in to help out with all the helping.

After reading an email that outlined how my teaching partners for next week's workshop in Safety Care had decided to go ahead without me and plan what parts of the course I would be teaching, I thought I might just go utterly mad.  I had visions of myself racing through the hallways, tearing at my hair and clothing, whilst screaming, "How may I help you???!!!"

And then it hit me...

If I am teaching a class for the district workshops next week then that means that it is Thanksgiving week.  And if it is Thanksgiving week next week, then I only have two days of school.  And those days are kid-free!  I only have to go to workshops!  And I'm teaching two of them...which means that everyone has to do what I say!!!!!!!!  Then I get to go home and eat stuffing!!!

Suddenly, I am in a whole other place.  Sure, there may still be a line of The Helpless following me around the building and eagerly suggesting more things I should be doing to make their lives better.  And the kids' projects aren't done.  And they still think it is all my fault.  But, I can make it!  I can do this!  Next week is a week "off" for all intents and purposes!

A week off for knitting and spinning...

And stuffing!!!!!!!!

SA

14 comments:

Mel said...

I think that next week sounds just about perfect, then. Especially the part about stuffing.

trek said...

I, too, am looking at an upcoming abbreviated school week - Neatnik's, that is. Couple of half days including one 11 am dismissal. Then a glorious four day holiday weekend. Let's do the happy dance together. Wanna come down here? I'll stuff ya full of stuffing, nah, brownies, and you'll sleep like a baby. Sorry about the insomnia - happens here all the time - sucks.

Beth said...

Mmm...stuffing...

I think that in your workshops, you should require people to knit. Think of all the times you've had to hide your knitting. You can turn things around now!

crzjane said...

I'm happy for you. And don't forget, today is Thursday and tomorrow is Friday, then it's THE WEEKEND! Yeah!. Enjoy, and don't overstuff yourself.

Julie said...

I agree with Beth, make them all knit. Better yet, make them knit the Christmas gifts you won't have time to knit yourself due to the lace weight spinning :-)

Kath said...

Within the first few sentences of your post I flashed on a little teeny sign I used to keep at my desk in my office (and I have to mention - at the time their big slogan was "Safety First")

OSHA has determined that the maximum safe load capacity on my butt is two persons at a time, unless I install hand rails or safety straps. As you have arrived sixth in line to ride my ass today, please take a number and wait your turn.

kmkatw said...

I am partial to "they have to do what I say." Sheepie says: Stand up. Sheepie says: Sit down. Sheepie says: Empty your pockets and give me all your chocolate.

Lorraine said...

I am so with you on the week off thing. I'm thinking on canceling my little school for next week, just to spend some time kitten-proofing. Enjoy that week!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it nice how those holidays just sort of fall when we need them. Of course I am the one who has to shop and fix the feast next week so there won't be much rest for me until after the dishes are washed Thursday...
Karen
http://nothingbutknit.blog-city.com/

Anne said...

No stuffing-consumption issues?

Cursing Mama said...

Now all I can think about is my mom's homemade cornbread stuffing and I have to wait DAYS to get it. hrm.....

Alwen said...

Everyone has to do what you say AND you get to go home and eat stuffing?

That would put me in a happy place!

I wonder how I can get my husband and son to do what I say!

Donna Lee said...

I have a short (2 day) week next week too. Woohoo! I took Friday off because it's the Day After Thanksgiving and should be a holiday. Our agency has a huge Turkey Dinner on Monday and I volunteered to cook two turkeys. Our hospital cafeteria provides all the sides but the staff cooks the turkey. I will be cooking turkeys all weekend but that's ok. And since I am cooking turkey, I get an extra day off. So, today, I schlepped two 15 pound frozen turkeys home on the train and will schlepp them back on Monday, all cooked and carved. We will probably feed 250 - 300 families. It's a busy day but so worth it.

Diana said...

A mental health day should never be associated with any guilt, only pleasure!