Monday, June 23, 2008

the wrath of an ocd teacher

Not that any of you fine, intelligent, respectful readers would ever perpetrate any of the following actions; I'm just giving you a heads-up to pass on to any classless, unintelligent, disrespectful misguided individuals you may encounter who need to borrow a teacher's classroom.

Our school houses a fantastic auditorium that is in high demand by various organizations. I taught poetry on its stage for a quarter last spring; it is an awesome space, even when I had to assemble & disassemble my classroom each day. I can completely appreciate people wanting to use it and I am okay with sharing my room, which is directly across from the dressing areas, with performers.

What I am not okay with is those people & performers eating mints out of my office, breaking all the [carefully sharpened, you know how I am] tips of my colored pencils, using the notebook paper I have in a basket for students, erasing parts of my schedule on the white board, tipping over books, throwing garbage in the recycle bin and recycling in the garbage can, moving tables to different parts of the room, bringing in extra chairs, leaving copious numbers of bobby pins on desks & floor, dumping magnetic poetry words, knocking over my desk calendar, and just this past weekend - after I had cleaned my room for the summer - leaving marker smudges across one whole table and scrawling over the entire chalkboard, which required someone to enter my office for Sharpies and search my desk for chalk.

I hate the feeling of weirdness I get when these things matter to me; they seem small and petty and easy to fix. Yet they do matter because, well I'm pretty convinced I really do have OCD, but also because my classroom matters to me - all of the things I bring in and arrange and hang (and straighten) and write and draw are things I've chosen and positioned with care. Care for my environment, care for my job, enormous care for the comfort & delight of my students (even the ones who say I'm weird for labeling the clock with a sticker that says "stop looking at me").

So when these "things" are treated as insignificant by others, I consider myself & my students insulted. I realize that may sound crazy, but I love that my principal and colleagues [tell me they] agree and back me up when I send e-mails to the individuals who are supposed to be using our space respectfully. They must have forgotten we're the Renegades.

I'm getting this poster-sized for my door.
Be warned, miscreants.