In January of 2000 I signed my first teaching contract. Twenty-one kindergarteners would be my captive audience for 45 minutes a day and I was confident that classroom management would not be a problem since I had the toys. I was, after all, the new science teacher at MSAD 11. Now, if you don’t recall first grade science, let me remind you that racing marbles down ramps of varying heights and launching whirligigs off of stairwells were just two awesome activities. Sadly, though, I must confess that I did, indeed, have some behavioral hiccups. My mantra began and went something like this:
“Please clean up after yourself.”
“I know your tooth is loose, but you have to push in your chair before you go to the nurse.”
“Please check the floor before you leave.”
I ended up dedicating twelve years to those munchkins and when I finally transitioned to the upper grades, it wasn’t because of the curriculum; I became weary of hearing my own reminders.Now I work in a library a few nights a week at The Governor’s Academy and I am stunned at the number of times that the ole mantra comes out of my mouth. Well, most of it. So, this former elementary school teacher is asking you to please remember these 13 Reasons Why No Adult in Pesky Should Ever Have to Pick Up Your Gum Wrapper.
13. It’s sloppy.
12. It’s lazy.
11. It’s thoughtless.
10. It’s disrespectful.
9. It’s irresponsible.
8. It’s immature.
7. It reflects poorly on you.
6. It reflects poorly on your friends.
5. It reflects poorly on your community.
4. Your handbook prohibits it.
3. Your teachers expect more.
2. Your adults raised you better.
1. And in the words of Robert Fulghum, author of Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, you should always, “CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS.”