Sometimes, I am just too nice. Stop snickering. It's totally true.
Every day, at the end of 5th hour, I straighten my desks. Not in an obsessive-compulsive way. But because I'm too nice. My plan time is 6th hour. That is when the custodian cleans my room. My classroom is at its worst at that time. It's been twenty-four hours since the last cleaning. Bits of paper appear on the floor, and shoe mud, and pencil shavings around the sharpener. The desks and chairs are askew. So I straighten them.
My students 5th hour are too cool for school. They are not the type to straighten up before they leave. I call it even if they take all of their possessions with them and the furniture remains upright. They are not like my sweet freshmen 7th hour, who dutifully align their chairs two minutes before the bell each day. Align them with the legs on specific tile cracks, and push in the chairs, exactly as I have requested. No, that's not happening 5th hour. So instead of a room ready for cleaning after the final bell, I have a room in disarray with two class periods remaining.
At times I feel pressured to complete this task before The Broomsman enters. I try to stand in the hall to supervise huggers and runners and hacky-sackers, but he sweeps by and commences the cleaning without me. So I rush in and begin. Put the desks in straight rows with adequate spacing, push in the chairs, pick up any full-sized papers that might have dropped. I feel like an assistant of sorts. I have danced this ballet for years.
Today was reading day, as is every Friday, which means that we are on a shortened hourly schedule to steal thirty minutes of reading time from the day. This schedule discombobulates The Broomsman. It throws him off by fifteen minutes. I spend Fridays 5th hour in the computer lab, on Study Island, preparing for the End Of Course testing that is imminent. So it's a long walk up the hall to get back to my classroom. And sometimes nature calls, which necessitates a stop at the faculty women's restroom on the trek.
The Broomsman was busily brooming when I arrived. "I put some of your chairs in rows for you," he said as I walked in.
Which kind of seems like the natural order of things to me.