New Digs

Leaving a school after five years is rough.  Leaving the school were you started teaching preschool is rougher.  Oh well… life changes.  Onward and upward.

First day in my office and set down all of my things.  It’s a mess.  Dust, some spider webs, and bunch of scattered paper clips and thumb tacks.  Then I found a make-up brush.  I don’t need a make-up brush.  I need to settle into my new digs.  I put my bag down and got to cleaning and organizing.

First day of school is less than two weeks away and there are a million things to do.  Paperwork, licensing, classroom rosters, meetings, meetings, and more meetings.  I even wrote down a to do list and I easily had 35 tasks to do: emails, phone calls and…

…oh, that’s right, need to setup Internet and phone service.  That goes on the to-do list too.

But first, I clean.  I reconnect the computer and see what’s working.  There are two computer monitors – double the screens, double the fun.  I pick up the keyboard and find more fun.

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The brush is not mine. It’s not even my shade.

I find more paper clips and more thumb tacks. I’m afraid if I’m careless, my desk and I will be blood brothers.

There is a closet behind my chair. I open to find a bunch of boxes with old papers and empty file folders. The closet has potential, but can’t think of what to do with it now.

There’s a large file cabinet inside.  This I can use.  I pull it out and push it next to my desk.  I dust the top and inside.

I start tinkering more with the computer monitors and the desk arrangement.  I put speakers on the side and the document scanner to the corner.  I reconnect the phone, which I hope still works.

I look at my keyboard.  There are mounds of dust between all the keys.  I blow but the dust doesn’t move…

…Ahhh! The make-up brush.  Takes a little time, but the brush does the job.

I spend three hours organizing my office to fit my needs.  Why spend the first hours of my first day at a new center working on my office?  Because this is going to be my home away from home.  The whole center yes, but this room, this desk, this is my home.   I will spend countless hours answering emails, listening to messages from children’s parents about sick days, and streaming Pandora as I review files.

This may sound full of despair, but this is part of the life of a preschool manager.  You have the freedom to manage your own schedule, perhaps even your own hours – but you’ll always be within five feet of your desk.  But, it’s what we managers do to make the center run like a well-oiled machine.

The next half of my day is spent inspecting the entire center – especially since we just had an earthquake.  I hold an afternoon meeting, then it’s time to go home.  Everyone else leaves, but I stay a little longer to finish a few more to-do’s.  Sun is setting as I turn off all the lights.

I close the gate, slamming a mound of keys against the bars.  There are bunch of new keys on my keychain.  Some have labels.  Some do not.  I have no idea which goes to what door, gate or cabinet.  Even some of the labels are wrong; hell, even the one that supposedly locks my office.

I put my bag in the trunk.  I’m happy with the work I did in my office.  I’m optimistic about the new school year.  I know there are ups and downs ahead – the trend of my entire preschool adventure.

I think back to my old school – my classroom, my office, the meetings, the people, the memories.  It’s a great place that will have a dear place in my heart.

However, my old school never had a view like this.

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