Some people would say that I am dedicated to my job. I would usually tend to agree. I see things and hear things every day that renew my dedication to teaching and to my students. Let me tell you a story... We have been working outside each day early in the week for an hour in the afternoons on painting the blacktop. Tuesday - success. Wednesday - success. Thursday - huge failure. You see, it rained on Thursday morning and made it impossible for us to paint the blacktop since it was wet. When my students realized that we would not be going out to paint I received looks of dismay and confusion. Anarchy was nearly imminent. I heard urgent questions like "What are we going to do now?!" and "How will we ever get the project done so kids can play on [the blacktop]?" As the excitement drained from their eyes taking with it the color on their faces, it really hit me that they love this project. They are so invested in the outcome and feel the same sense of urgency that I thought I alone possessed. They know other students (as well as themselves) at our school are ready to play on the new designs. They know that each day that passes without us finishing is another day that we are depriving others of potential fun at recess. I foolishly assured them that we would be able to work outside the following day and we would finish in no time!
Fast forward to Friday. I thought we were going to have a nuclear-sized meltdown in classroom B110. The students were changed into their painting clothes early because of our jam packed schedule. We head down the hallway for recess and march outside ready to breathe in some fresh air when what hits our senses - light rain!!! OH NO! The whiplash some of these kids must have gotten when they turned to look at me must have been painful. A large groan went out, not for recess. Nope. My students love an occasional indoor recess. The question that was asked said it all "What are you going to do Mrs. Gaffney?" It was all over their faces - another postponed Face of the Playground day was in our futures. Obviously this weather catastrophe was on me. Luckily, I thought and acted quickly to avoid disaster. I became delusional and planted some seeds of hope. "Guys" I said "Its just a little drizzle, I am sure it will clear up by this afternoon when its time to come out to work." Of course, my students are too smart and slightly more than a little skeptical of this statement. During lunch I did what any self-respecting teacher in a bind would do. I stopped to talk to a couple of friends and begged them to help me out with the weather. They were good sports about my request, even making up a small "go away rain" dance. It was nice. Lucky for me the weather cleared up and I was able to take my students out to finish what we had started. Tragedy averted. The picture in this post is proof that our class experienced success today. Thank goodness. So you see, I may be dedicated, but its because I work in a place that makes it so easy to be dedicated.
My name is Carrie Gaffney. Someone once asked me a question that remains in the back of my mind and helps to shape my life: "How will you be remarkable?" I am continuously trying to discover new ways to answer that question.