I am reflecting back on the beginning of the school year "woes"! Art began on the Art Cart as school began at Highland since there were no stairs yet to the portable. Which meant I had to have a staging area inside the building and haul stuff back and forth from the Art Portable to the Building. (Oh the good ol' days of teaching from a cart were returning!) It keeps one humble and not taking for granted having an art room with a sink inside the main building. School population growing pains!
The first challenge was to create makeshift steps so Kerry (the other art teacher) and I could actually step UP into the portable as we moved in
to set up our classroom before the first day of school. We discovered how dangerous it is to NOT have steps as you open a door to exit....because, well, you just step out out of habit and crash to the ground! Like something from a cartoon..."Watch that first step it is a doozy!"
Believe me...it is NOT so funny when you land hard!
Mumbling and grumbling as to WHY the school district hadn't managed to get the stairs and a ramp installed yet, we just kept moving in to our new home for the LOVE of teaching ART.
So, Kerry and I cleaned and scrubbed and set up our new environment... and expelled some furniture which we had no idea how or why it got there!
Kind of cool in that we literally just threw it out the door....Custodians moved it eventually from off the ground with a dollie cart.
We set up a "dry sink" area and collected 20 or so empty water jugs and devised the method of using a collapsible cart for transporting refills to and from the school building. Close by neighbor teachers were totally accommodating and said we could use their classroom sinks ANYTIME. Appreciative, but still we were still kind of feeling like the stepchild! I mean, really, art without a sink??? But, we have grown to appreciate the challenge!
About 1-2 times weekly, we refill the water jugs, we use a "water slop" bucket in the portable to dump out the dirty water; we use a "kid car wash" routine whereby we fill small green tubs with water and the children move down the line dipping their hands in the soapy tub, rinsing in the clear water tub, and then drying their hands with paper towels. The great custodians installed a hand soap dispenser and a wall mounted paper towel rack near our "dry sink" area. Interlude: Now, think about this...the same custodians need to TRANSPORT THEIR VACUUM CLEANER and supplies out to the portable to clean it! Picture a machine that straps to their back and they look like a guy from "Ghost Busters!" They had also had the THRILL of moving IN the furniture without STEPS...
We just had to rearrange it INSIDE after it was there! End of Interlude.
The kids LOVE to dump the dirty "slop water" bucket outside the door (We got a ramp and steps two weeks into the school year)They seem to like it as long as they remember to toss it DOWN WIND so as to avoid the "WIND SPRAYING BACK DIRTY WATER ONTO YOUR BODY" not so cool effect in the winter.
We keep Dixie Cups and Drinking Water available for kiddos who need a sip without having to go ALL THE WAY into the building...we aren't THAT far...but it SURE does seem like a LONG way when I have to get to the restroom and speed back before my next class arrives!
Now....almost halfway through the year...I kind of like our Art Portable. I am even sentimental about it... it's kinda cozy, leaky, (had to have the roof fixed when the rain dripped in once after a hail storm...I drove over from my house to CHECK on our ART HOME). I feel immersed in the weather when I can hear the wind and rain pelt the metal and there is one entire wall of windows to let the beautiful New Mexico sunshine pour in. I also get to watch some wildlife (besides the children) out on the playground: roadrunners, rabbits, resident hawks, all set against a backdrop of a gorgeous mountainview vista.
Could be worse.