Today I am thankful for my new and improved classroom. Back in October 3 classrooms in my school flooded. One was mine.
Carpet ruined. Walls ruined. Desk ruined. Many books ruined. I even found a whole pad of Post-it notes completely drenched and water logged. Ha ha. Who cares about Post-its, right? Well, I think that was the moment that it hit me – the realization of how bad the situation was. So that was when I broke down a little. I was in my room alone and just needed to have a little moment. Then I got back up and rolled up my sleeves (and pant legs 😉 ) and started the long process of moving the things out that I could salvage. Thankfully there was an empty classroom right next door to me that I could use as long as I needed it.
I was thankful for that extra classroom. But it was a less than perfect situation. I had my furniture from my real classroom, along with furniture in the temporary classroom and we were cramped and felt like we were all riding in bumper cars a lot of the time. But we at least had a temporary home.
The smell was so bad that it felt like I carried it with me everywhere that I went. I had to be constantly reassured by my coworkers that it wasn’t really in my clothes and my hair. It was just forever in my nose. 😉 The smell and the amount of water caused us to be worried about the chance of mold. Out of concern for our staff and the students, our school called in a restoration company to purify the air and get rid of any residue that could cause health issues. The remediation was a lengthy process and included the demo of a lot of sheetrock that took on water. So I was left with a classroom with no walls, no carpet, and completely desolate. It was such a sad sight. But I was so thankful that it was being done the right way.
Once the restoration process was done, we began the task of bidding out the reconstruction. I was shocked at how difficult it was to find people willing to bid the job. I guess it wasn’t a big enough project to garner a lot of attention. Then I remembered that a former classmate of mine had married a contractor, Ray, so I hit her up. He came in the next day and bid the job and got the contract.
His crew worked around the clock to get it all done. He knew how desperately we needed to be back in our classrooms. My room was the last to get fixed, since I had a temporary classroom to “live in” for the time being. The other two rooms were computer labs and we needed to get them back open for our students. Ray even helped me measure and decide on some things that I was going to need to replace. He did a wonderful job and I am so thankful that he was able to help us out.
Three “Thankful Thursday”s ago I was finally able to begin the move back into my
old new room. It was a glorious day. I stayed late mopping and mopping the new floor. We chose to install ceramic tile just in case we had flood issues again. But I ordered a very large rug to make the room comfy cozy and to buffer the noise level. The rug came in late that Friday afternoon.
I mopped again the following Monday. That grout likes to hang around. I know Ray and his assistant had mopped several times before they finished the job. (I think it just wants to hang around because it’s such a bright and cheerful place now.) Once it was dry, I rolled out that big, beautiful rug. My ever faithful maintenance crew came in like a flock of angels willing to move furniture for me. I moved things back in slowly. We had been out this long, I just wanted to make sure everything was perfect when we moved back in. Monday evening our custodians moved my student computer table back in. Tuesday morning my students helped me move our work tables in and while they were working I moved my laptop and table and my teacher computer back in. We were still trying to find a reasonably priced teacher desk, so I used a small rolling cart for the time being to hold my computer and printer.
Just last Wednesday, my new desk came in (steel, with tall legs – floodproof) and I stayed after school to put it together and have everything ready for parent-teacher conferences on Thursday night. It is so great to be back “home”. I love my new and improved classroom. My students are so excited to be back in “our room.” Life is good and I am so thankful.