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Like Pieces in Wonka’s Chocolate Factory

June 3, 2011

It’s Friday, and Lisa-Jo, The Gypsy Mama, has challenged the brave to write for 5 minutes without stopping.  Or editing.  This week’s topic: everyday.  And here we go in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…

Everyday I sit down at my desk.  I stare at the tables and chairs in front of me.  They are untouched.  They are untarnished.  They are untainted by the hundreds of little fingers and hands and pencils and eraser dust that will be spread around them throughout the school day.  Everyday I sit from the chair at my desk and I look at my classroom in the emptiness of the morning.  It has knowledge ripe for the taking.  It has a teacher standing at the ready.  And in those moments before the feet of students come trumpeting up the stairs, there is a kind of anticipatory peace.  There is a simplicity to this job and this work and this calling and this desire to “be all things to all people” who walk through my door.  But there is also worry.  Everyday there is always worry.

I am a teacher everyday.  But I’m a million other roles too.  Sometimes I’m a janitor, other days a nurse.  Most days a guidance counselor must show up in my classroom too, and in the quick moments of a teenage drama meltdown, that counselor is me.  I can be a police woman, tutor, office assistant, parent, and technology extraordinaire on any given day.  I can be the entertainer and I can also be the disciplinarian.  But no matter what role I am in, I am never sure it is enough.  Am I what they need?  Am I doing the best possible job?  Am I gracious and compassionate and firm and grounded and interesting and intellectual and challenging and shaping and my list goes on and on and on.

Everyday I sit at my desk and wait for the Wonka effect to take place before my students come in.  I wait to become that boy who stands in front of Wonka’s machine, is lifted and scattered into a million tiny floating particles, and then put back together inside a television in very tiny form.  Even though the boy is microscopic, he is at least whole.  Most days I feel like I am just the floating particles.  I’m trying to spread out, to break myself up, to be what each little glorious life needs out of me, but it’s never quite enough.  Everyday the particles just seem to hover, and I’m waiting for the day when they can all come down, can become whole.  Can become the put-together version of myself that I’d like to be.

So everyday I sit at my desk and wait for the chocolate factory to open.  I wait to become the floating pieces of my whole.  I wait, and as the bell rings I start to feel myself separate.  I can feel myself scatter.  Ding.  My students walk in.

And my 5 minutes are up.

Join the fun!  The Gypsy Mama – 5 Minute Friday

4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 3, 2011 4:08 pm

    What a creative post! I love the idea of teh “Wonka effect” of being a million flying pieces. Perfectly describes a teacher. I will be passing this on to my mother-in-law, a woman who truly desires to be what she needs to be for each student that walks in the door.

    You beautifully captured the moment before the “chocolate factory opens!”


  2. June 3, 2011 4:52 pm

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I LOVE your 5-minute Friday! I went to college to teach, but couldn’t find a job at the time, so I subbed for a while and ended up getting a job in a totally different field. I’m homeschooling my son now though. Can’t wait to check out more of your blog! Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. Erica permalink
    June 3, 2011 5:06 pm

    You are so fabulous Lauren! I stole the idea and tried it out today. How can you get so deep in 5 minutes? I got as far as Oprah… and Popsecret Homestyle Popcorn…. Anyway, thanks for the idea! It’s good for me, I press delete way to much!

  4. June 3, 2011 10:09 pm

    What an incredible picture — the silence before the horde invades the space and you’re spreading yourself so thin. I really enjoyed reading this post. (And I peaked at the one below — and cracked up at your story of personal hell in the form of athletics. So great to meet you via Gypsy Mama!)

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