Since the kids started school, I have enjoyed working in their classrooms. I started out being a co-room mom in William's kindergarten class. I loved getting to know the other moms (the other co-room mom and I ended up being great friends - Hey, Carie!!). I, also, enjoyed getting to know and supporting the teaching, and getting to know the other kids in the classroom. After all, these were the people that my child was spending an enormous about time with. Over the years, I done different things for the classes and school - and enjoyed it all (okay - most of it!)
Of course, in Guam I started to sub and that's when I really got to know the school in a whole new way! As a sub for all the grades I was able to see how the curriculum worked together as well seeing all the work an elementary teacher does - and so glad I'm not one of them! No way could I teach the same class day in day out - all. year. loooong.
When we moved here, I was sort of at lose ends. I did not sub for the first six months - I wanted a time to focus on getting the kids settled and the house settled. And then there were all those doctor appointments that needed to be made up because we weren't able to take care of them in Guam. I tried to help out some in Ben's class, but as a fourth grader his teacher needed less help in class than the lower graders. Also, things are different here. I didn't want to be room mom because I had no idea of the traditions here. (And that my friends, was such a smart decision! Some things here are just CRAZY!)
I still wanted to help out, but not sure how. But at the end of the year, I found my spot. Ben had lost his jacket towards the end of the year. On the last day of school, I went to pick up the meds we keep in the nurse's office and I wanted to go through the lost and found - hoping his jacket still had his name in it and that I could find it.
Oh, wow. Was I in for a shock! I wish I had thought about taking a picture of the closet where the lost and found was stored. I would say it was six feet by ten? Twelve? It was really a closed off stair-well. And it was full. As in FULL. F.U.L.L.
There were two good sized hanging racks with jackets and sweaters on hangers - full. And then at least two - probably more - large tubs - all overflowing. Then there were just piles and piles. You literally could NOT walk through it all without putting your life at risk. As I was going through the jackets looking for Benjamin's I was amazed to see that many had a name in them. But no one had taken the time to return them to the child. My thought was: "I can do this." (Yes, I did find Benjamin's - thankfully, in the 2nd pile I went through.)
So, I am. Every few weeks I stop by the school, go through the lost and found, return the item to the child if the name is on it, and then take all the left-over un-named items to the Goodwill.
So far, I have probably take eight bags to the Goodwill. And by bags, I don't mean Walmart size. Nor do I mean tall kitchen garbage bags. Nor do I even mean large yard-waste bags. No. I mean the industrial size garbage bags the school janitor use for the extra large cans in the cafeteria.
As in I have taken enough clothes to Goodwill to clothe a small country! Saddening really. To think that these kids have enough jackets that they don't miss one. Or the parents have enough money to buy a new one instead of time to stop by the school to locate the missing one.
Then there are the lunch boxes. At one time or another all my children have left theirs at school or on the bus. But the next day they had instructions to FIND IT! And they did. Yesterday when I was at the school I came across a lunch box that I know I have returned to the child at least once before. Then I found a second lunch box with the same kid's name on it. Then a third!
Really? If this kids can't remember to get home a lunch box, then I think it's time to either switch to the school lunch or a paper bag that can be thrown away. After all, it's apparent that this child does not care about his things.
I have also taken a Vera Bradly lunch bag to the Goodwill - not cheap. A Banana Republic rain coat - oh, so very nice! and I'm sure, also, no cheap! But yesterday was the prize. I came across a local college team's leather football jacket. I'm sure someone paid a pretty price for it new. And now someone will get a steal of a deal at the Goodwill.
Put your name in your items people!! It's money that's just floating away.