Monday, October 02, 2006


Change is fine as long as you’re not there when it happens! It’s moving week at my school. The county threw a bone to one of the oldest high schools by allocating building and renovation funds. Originally, the newest high school in the county (five years old) was to receive a major renovation and upgrade. The cries from the PTO parents and the demonstrating at the school board meetings resulted in additional funds for my school. A band room expansion, a couple of science labs, and a brand spankin’ new school office, and perhaps even air conditioning for the gym.

The result of this decision was the impending movement of mine and four other portable classrooms to make way for the construction crews and equipment. I understand the necessity of making way for progress. Originally, the principal wanted us moved to the northeast section of eighty-eight acres, just beyond a parking lot. Out of sight, out of mind. This was the plan until it was pointed out by an assistant principal that the students had only six minutes to walk to the other end of the campus when changing classes. The time was measured and it was discovered that ten minutes was required.

Okay, new plan. Now my twenty-one year old portable would be located just behind the second largest building in a parking lot. This was fine until it became evident that parking for football supporters would be greatly decreased. The final placement suggestion had always been referred to as the, “There is no way I’m having portables parked in my damn courtyard!” principal’s decree.

I’ve walked among the two-foot tall wooden stakes driven into the school’s courtyard. Each one outlined by spray paint on the grass marking the corners of each of the five portables to be moved. The county maintenance department has decreed that the only placement suitable shall be the courtyard. I’ve counted the trees to be cut down and they only number fourteen.

This Monday morning is the first day of the fall break. No students are around. No teachers. Not even football supporters are present. I walked through the courtyard this morning with my camera to begin recording the “Great Move of 2006”. Many of my students wanted to see how it would all be accomplished, but live to far away to be there. I quietly whistled “They Paved Paradise and Put Up A Parking Lot” as I snapped digital pictures of the portables, the courtyard, and the trees. It was 10:00 A.M. in the morning and I was alone. No movers, utility workers, wire stringers, or lumberjacks were present. The migrating geese flying overhead and me enjoyed the fall morning. I wondered how many days it would take to relocate five classrooms? Luckily, we had placed all breakables, e.g. computers, monitors, and televisions on the floor so only the unbreakable items could fall on them when the move came.

It was decided that it would take two weeks beyond the one-week fall break to complete the move. The principal decided to attend two training conferences during this time. When he returns I’m sure the move to the courtyard will be his original idea and the portables will look just wonderful where they are.

Change is fine as long as you’re not there when it happens!

1 comment:

  1. Hello from a Montana Special Education ParaEducator. It's good to know we're not alone.