Successful Teachers Practice “FLEXIBLE ORGANIZATION”

Retired Teacher

On the first day of school I Organized everything to the point my morning list included a reminder to wear the same color socks; the lesson plans prompted me to take attendance, and the evening list included a direction to make the next day’s list.

This constant message bombarded my brain. So with “THE LIST” prepared, the lesson plans written, and a hearty breakfast consumed to provide sustenance, I stood at the door awaiting the students on the first day of school.

A boy named Justin pleaded, “Can you help me open my locker?” Knowing that saying no wasn’t an option, I turned the lock to the right, then to the left (being sure to go past and then back to the second number), and then right. Like magic, the door swung open. The boy’s body relaxed.

To my horrific fear, upon returning to the classroom door, eleven bodies already filled eleven seats.

The plan to welcome and hand a syllabus to each student when they entered dissolved. After the bell sounded, students’ names where announced and notes recorded (time needed increased from what the plans allotted so pronunciations could be practiced.) When I asked if anybody’s name was not called, six hands shot up. Acknowledging this a problem that needed to be remedied, I examined each schedule. Four students exited with directions to a different class.

Since attendance took longer than planned, I shortened “THE LIST”.

The get acquainted game proved somewhat successful; however, I discovered the students already knew each other and the only new information acquired was that three Susies occupied three chairs in the second row. An obnoxious buzzer interrupted the lesson (like a hornet’s nest intruding at a picnic) and announced the end of the period (Why anyone referred to it as a bell remains a mystery.)

In the lesson plan book, I drew an arrow showing that the last two items would be addressed the next day.

While monitoring the halls at the end of the day, I watched Justin open his locker successfully. An afternoon faculty meeting gathered the staff into the library at the end of the day. The adult faces showed fatigue, some confusion.

I reflected upon my accomplishments from “THE LIST” Most items were checked off; some were crossed off; several items had been added. When the meeting’s discussion ended, I took out a clean piece of paper and wrote the first item on tomorrow’s list:

Be flexible!

I looked down and for the first time realized my socks didn’t match.

Interested in more humor from a teacher's perspective? Read Censor Comments to Students.

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