Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It's winter. We're teachers. We're creative problem solvers.

It snowed Monday. Briefly. But a brief snowfall was enough.

People called it a "five minute blizzard." Within those five minutes, one of my students looked toward the window and cried out "It's snowing!" and seven, I'm not kidding you -- SEVEN kids rushed to the window like they'd never seen snow before.

We live in Northeastern Wisconsin. They've all seen snow. Lots of it.

I managed to corral the wayward dogies back into their seats, closed the shades, and attempted to hand out the spelling homework. Hah! Dream on, teacher. Whether they could see it or not, the snow was on their minds. I shifted gears, as good teachers will, and brought them to the rug for some read-aloud time which lasted only a few minutes.
After several gear shifts, a chaotic rendition of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, and a final dismissal bell, I grabbed my bags and headed out the door to find my minivan coated with a thin layer of frozen winter wonderland.
I reached for the snow brush we keep in the minivan most of the year. It wasn't there.
I started the defrosters and searched again behind the seats. No luck. So I attacked the windows with my gloved hands, hoping that perhaps I could borrow a brush or scraper from another teacher as the rest of the staff left.
No luck there, either. My friend the reading teacher set her car to defrost and came over to ask if she could borrow my -- "Oh, I see you don't have a snow brush or ice scraper either. Good thing we both wore gloves today!"
While the defrosters blew warm air at the windows, I dug under the seats one more time and found....an old plastic air freshener shaped like an orange.
The plastic was soft enough not to scratch, but strong enough to hold up under my assault on the elements. I used it to scrape enough frozen precipitation off the windshield that I could run the wipers and get the rest. My colleague took it next, and we were ready to hit the streets.

In our school building we are nothing if not compassionate professionals. We pulled in together the next day. I waved my new snow brush at her, picked up my coffee (both purchased at a convenience store on the way to school) and stepped out of the car. She said good morning and handed me -- my air freshener.
I think I'll put this little item back under the seat in my minivan. You never know when it might come in handy. At the least, it'll be good for a laugh. Someday.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Steve said...

I love the title of your blog. Great!

As for students, they're a lot like snowflakes, each one unique, never knowing where they're going to land, and massed together they are beautiful to behold.

11/19/2008 9:10 AM  
Blogger Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I can't believe you're native and don't keep a scraper in your car year-round! Ha! (I laugh after years of using cassette tape cases on my windshield before I got smart enough to BE PREPARED all the time--even in July)
Yes, kids act so goofy that first snow.

11/19/2008 1:46 PM  
Blogger Minnesota Matron said...

You must be a neighbor . . . . and yes, that first snow is a shocker, even for natives!

11/21/2008 9:34 PM  

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