Ducks and Things…

Outside my classroom window, they are moving dirt.  This is a part of the massive –and poorly timed– capital project that is decimating our school, taking away my floors and over a quarter of the usable space in the building.  I totally underestimated the psychological and physical impact of teaching on unfinished concrete floors. We all underestimated the impact of teaching in a construction zone during an interminable pandemic.  I spent far too much money on footwear that might, just might, mitigate the wear and tear on my body, but I have not yet found a purchase that could ameliorate the wear and tear on all of our psyches.

But today, the construction crew is moving dirt.  They are digging it up from somewhere out of my sight and filling in the accidental pond that had become home to two wayward ducks and held the promise of spring ducklings.  They are drawing attention back to the construction zone that had, finally, begun to fall into the background.  The workers and the dust and the yellow tape once front and center of all of our conversations had been eclipsed by the work at hand….work that even, occasionally, included education resembling the Before Times.  A new road arrived while I was at lunch. A tractor used it, happily, toting who-knows-what from one place to another. The kids tried to write and conference and do workshop, but the tractor won.

So the dirt moves and the kids look out and the tractor engine roars.  I know that we will one day have a beautiful new building, with moveable walls, built-in bookshelves and real live floors; I just wish that we kept the ducks around for a bit longer.

Dirt…not Ducks.
A new road was born today. But still no room for ducks.
Me and the Concrete Floor

6 thoughts on “Ducks and Things…

  1. I loved your post! The lines that stuck out to me most: “A new road arrived while I was at lunch… The kids tried to write and conference and do workshop, but the tractor won.” I’ve been there. There are days like that. It took me some time – but I realize we need these tractor days too in our teaching. Makes us more resilient I think.


  2. I feel for you! It’s so hard to limit distractions when times are good, let alone when your school is under construction. It took me back to when I was doing a lesson on a prairie (outdoors) and a baby turtle showed up (we were by a marsh). Out the window went any attention to the prairie. I hope things improve for your environment and maybe the kids can reflect on the “day the tractor” was there!


  3. I would imagine everyone wanted to write about the construction – what a sight to behold! This line /phrase is awesome, so so true: “I have not yet found a purchase that could ameliorate the wear and tear on all of our psyches.”


  4. Bwahaha what you PROBABLY didnt see was the oh so entertaining giant scoop digger thingy (what my son used to call the piece of machinery that starred in”are you my mother”)tooling aroung the space. I didnt know that they could move so quick!I was thinking that the operator was quite dextrous with the digger.Fast .Efficient. Kind of like a second hand.Til he wasnt.Suddenly the Belt that acts as tires got hung up mid air With no traction/without boots on the ground,that machine was just not moving anywhere.They tried shoveling stone under it. They tried cleaning out the belt mechanism with a shovel.They brought a back hoe in for some kind of remedy. I tried to read their lips.Im sure it wasnt appropriate for the classroom.I had to leave the room for study hall,soI never got to see the conclusion. When I was finally able to return to that room,All workers were gone and the poor machines sat lonely and abandoned.It wasnt their fault!

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  5. Wow! I can’t imagine what it would be like to teach under those conditions. My heart goes out to you for trying to make the best of this situation. And, yes, knowing what is coming at the end of this construction time will have made these months worth the wait. Good luck!


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