Rearranging Furniture

Sunday, September 15, 2013

One morning last week before school I almost broke down. I almost couldn’t go. I really just wanted to stay in my bed and forget about the silly teenagers that never (ever) leave my thoughts. I couldn’t do it. My honors class was acting entitled and disrespectful, my 5th period had slept through the previous day’s lesson, and the majority of 8th period just didn’t show up. The third week of school and I was too tired to try anything new. It was 6:30 in the morning and in my mind the day was already wasted.

I was greeted at school by my already sauna-like room and a mountain of things to do. It was all I could do to just sit staring at my rows of lab tables, and I had a realization: sometimes we just need a new perspective. So, I rearranged the furniture. It was 7am and I was all alone in the Science Hall when I started dragging lab tables across the floor, slowing forming groups of 5 and 6. And everything began to get a little clearer. I felt revived thinking, “Well, if this doesn’t work, at least I gave it a shot.”

I spent my planning period reassigning seats and making table signs, and I had a new perspective when that first kid walked in for 2nd period.

My tables didn’t magically fix everything (although it seems like they’re working a little better), but they magically fixed how I was feeling. Mom and I used to rearrange furniture constantly at home, and I think you sometimes just have to rearrange until it works. Until the path is clear or the Christmas tree fits or you stop banging your knee on the end table.

I’ll do anything to get these kids to learn. It’s a challenge. It takes a lot of rearranging.

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