When, not if, it all goes wrong…

First day of school!

Life lesson #1: Things don’t always go according to plan. It was a simple lesson, really. We were going to color a drawing of the layers of the earth, cut it out, fold it into a 3-d piece of “earth pie,” tape it together, and answer questions about the properties of each layer. No sweat, right? What could possibly go wrong with 30 6th graders coloring, cutting, taping, and learning, all at the same time? In retrospect, I probably should have seen some of the chaos coming. It started with a few innocent “Ms. Briggs, can you help me fold this?” and morphed into a sea of youngsters shouting for “Ms. Briggs!” and “Mrs. Hurt!” and trampling one another to get tape, or figure out how to fold (who knew dotted lines were such a complicated concept?!). We had a lot more planned than just our 3-d slice, but I suppose that will have to wait until tomorrow. The cornstarch goo mantle or giant iron bolt inner core will be a great attention grabber. Today was busy, at times chaotic, but I have learned none-the-less! We improvised and changed our lesson as the day went on, giving more instruction to our later periods, setting time limits on coloring, making students sit to get tape, having the faster ones help the slower ones, etc. All in a day’s work, my friends. That not to mention that we had a faculty meeting after school until about 4:30, putting me home past my new dinner time (when you eat lunch at 10:20 am, things get a little out of whack…), only to find an email from my boss letting me know my hours were cut in half for the semester due to budget cuts. Just when I thought the day couldn’t feel any longer… Panic attacks aside, after a fruitless walk to Stakz (our local frozen yogurt shop) and a quick visit to the Parent-Teacher store next door, I came back just as jobless and tearful as when I left. Thank goodness for a wise roomie and loving mother to help me get my wits about me and realize that I have other options! As I near the end of week one, I feel optimistic about the days ahead of me. There will be challenges, yes, but we will work through them and be stronger for it. After all, things don’t always go to plan. But that’s not always such a bad thing…

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