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dedicated to the 101a i LOVE

I am sad to say I am changing classrooms.
I was hired 13 years ago as a 3rd grade teacher and was assigned to 101a.
It might sound weird but 101a is like family.
I walk into her doors and I feel comfort...
I feel the love, magic, and security.

Her walls support the many treasures I have acquired through the years...
like the bulletin boards I dug out of the trash during renovation
or the vintage chalkboards that were doomed for the dump too.
Now they accessorize 101a..covered in the latest trendy fabrics and paper
showcasing educational elements like no other.
Her walls have been lovingly hand painted with reminders to shine,
she holds up our pledges, time pieces, and flags...
and let's not forget she
holds our adored class mascot Buck.
her brick walls have provided a blanket of security during lock downs... practice and real
more importantly those 4 walls contain a space that is the only safe haven some of 101a's occupants have had

101a has 4 lovely closets
these rare jewels hold my dwindling supply of tissue, baby wipes, baggies, and other endangered school supplies
2 of them have the perfect amount of space for a his and hers mountain of back packs
the 2 others are filled to the brim and busting at the seams with novelties, trinkets, and first editions of my own creating...
all 4 doors provide a nice veil of secrecy... hiding the unorganized chaos of it all

Her ceilings are adorned with delicate ways to display our knowledge,
beautiful sculptures of hearts and stars hang over my nest...
and my favorite,
her ceiling holds a kid made life sized narwhale from my teaching past..
and even though we have an occasional creature stir and
one time die up there... 101a is still magical

101a has 4 large windows that have the best view...
in my early years in 101a I covered the windows with curtains
but I quickly learned that 101a's view should be framed and not hidden because her view holds many lessons I couldn't teach...
I have been able to watch the ground come back to life after the renovation bulldozers nearly killed our little ecosystem...
our windows allow us
to become weather forecasters as we watch Mother Nature conjure up her
season changing spells... we had front row seats to cold front winds dropping the temperature, rattling our one fake plexiglass window pane, and swirl the natural grasses in a choreographed winter dance...
we cautiously watch spring storms making an electrical entrance, the thunder rattling our little pane, and  the clouds blacking out the Texas sun
101a's windows also give us a chance to see our fine feathered friends dine on our daily handouts
we have been blessed to serve pairs of blue jays, red birds, and even woodpeckers...
the windows have also supported our suction cup feeders
we have been up close and personal with a few doves, sparrows, finches, and an occasional silly squirrel
and one class was witness to the food chain in action as a red tailed hawk swooped in to grab its lunch

the tiled floors of 101a have been trampled on, slept on, glued, and splattered with paint
they have been sprinkled with the occasional  holes from the hole punches, failed papers, and rogue unused staples
glitter, empty shoes, and #2 pencils are its best friends
the tiles bare scratches in the wax where my acquired and mix matched shelves have been dragged  to new places and corners in an attempt to redesign the flow and magic
but it also supports the chairs and desks where learning takes place...

I can't end this without mentioning the space, the volume, the air inside my class
before renovation, polar bears could easily be our guests and the narwhale would gently sway side to side as if she was swimming in her arctic waters
after reno.?.?. well let's just say it is hot as Hades and the only cool air and swaying comes from the trial and error placement of 3 tower fans purchased by my loving hubs
What's more important is what has happened inside 101a...
kids have learned to read, write, add, and multiply...
but more importantly they have learned to love one another, have ownership of their actions,
they have learned that giving is more important and more rewarding than receiving...
they have learned to accept one another and celebrate large and small accomplishments
they learned how to listen to one another and
there are some things that are just not worth getting upset about
they have learned that I didn't give them their first B they earned their first B
they have learned that fair is different for everyone
they leave 101a knowing the importance of a please and thank you
and they leave me knowing they were loved...

101a is my friend, she was my partner for 13 years in the most important job in the world,
she will be missed
and I can only pray that her new owner will look at her
with her holes, scratches, and scuffs...
and see the potential
and once again transform her into a magical place

and as I close the door to 101a
I open the door to 113d
and I too have to see her potential
113d has 3 bare walls
2 closets
3 windows with a view of the old gym and blacktop
and can't have feeders because of gym traffic
she has been a book room / science storage / pto storage room...
all at the same time
she hasn't seen a sparkle within her space in years and
now I have the responsibility of transforming her into my friend and magical partner
we will have to work cooperatively to create a place where 4th graders discover the magic of
having roots and wings