Saturday, December 13, 2008

starring bad mom as the mouse king

A production of The Nutcracker has descended on my school building once again - we have a pretty cool auditorium that is frequently used by the community, and my classroom was once upon a time the Green Room. So whenever performing groups come in, they greedily eye my space. Usually, I shudder at the requests stamp my feet & shake my head take a deep breath and grudgingly share. Usually, people are reasonable and respectful of my volumes of clutter crap Very Important Stuff. Usually.

Last year, the feathered & sequined ballerinas molted in my space for two weeks; I'm still finding bobby pins & glitter in strange places. Besides leaving pieces of their costumes behind, a few times I returned to my room to find books knocked over, colored pencils broken, and erasures run through my lesson plans on the whiteboard. Individually, maybe spread over a bunch of visits, those things are not a big deal. Cumulatively though, and in my OCD world, they add up to A Big Deal. I had words with some people last year and was assured that only responsible individuals would be allowed in my room, and I would be informed beforehand; this allows me to bring the crazy down a notch.

This week, however, I was not informed about Nutcrackers using my room yet came in Friday morning to find both doors unlocked, books askew, a hanger left behind, and an open bottle of water on my desk [visions of ruined papers danced in my head]. I doublechecked with our secretary because sometimes I can be wrong mistaken about things, but no one was scheduled to be in my classroom. So I designed some colorful instructional signs (colorful as in Sharpie markers, not language) and taped them to my doors; for good measure, I posted on the whiteboard "Please Keep Out" notices our secretary later printed for me.

On my way out yesterday afternoon, the ballet director stopped me in the hall - mere feet from my doors & the colorful signs - and hoped I wasn't locking everything up. I answered that I was indeed, since no one was supposed to be using my classroom. A generally cordial but circular argument ensued wherein he said his contract allowed his people in my room and I replied that the operations person did not contact me or my administrators about it; we finally got to me hoping he could make do with the other [adequately sized, right next to mine, not nearly as full of things people can't resist messing with] room available, and him hoping I didn't return to "a surprise on Monday." I'm not quite sure if that was a threat or an apology in advance; either way, it leaves me itching for a fight.

I think my army could take their ballerinas.