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November 1, 2010

In May of this year, on the last day of school for teachers, our administration informed us that our school would be receiving a much-needed and much-anticipated renovation.  The plans were written about six years ago, and the funding had finally arrived.  They informed us to “stay tuned” for updates, as there was a distinct possibility that we would move to a different building down the street before school began again in August.

We waited.  We had no news.  So, we did what teachers do best and just carried on.  We unpacked and set up our old classrooms with the knowledge that sometime soon we would be demolishing them and re-building them at another location.  As the year unfolded, it became clear that we would be moving over our week-long Fall Break.

About a two weeks before that break, the district provided each teacher with 36 boxes to pack up their classrooms and ready them for The Move.  Being the dutiful procrastinator that I am, I waited until about a week before to begin packing.  We had some uber-helpful students who volunteered to stay after to help my 9-months-pregnant teammate, and then me.  Our classrooms were ripped apart and thrown in boxes.

Then, on the Wednesday before The Move (scheduled to begin on Friday at 3:00), our principal made a cryptic announcement for teachers to “halt their packing”.  That afternoon, we were informed that the mighty mayor’s office had pulled the funding for our move/renovation, so we would, in fact, NOT be moving.

You should have seen the fury.  News stations were called, alumni groups rallied, and parents mobilized.  My students and I even wrote persuasive letters to the mayor’s office stating the reasons our building needed renovation (mostly:  it’s had no updates since 1947, when it was originally constructed).

We got what we wanted.  I ended up using my Fall Break to work on my classroom instead of traveling to an exotic location. After what we went through to make it happen, I’m okay with that.  We love the new building and I’m excited about the opportunity for the kids to begin to take pride in their learning environment.


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