Empty Classroom Lingering

Damien Riley classroom setupI’m a teacher and that’s unfortunate as a blogger because sometimes the experiences I find commonplace, the general public doesn’t really understand. Setting up a new room each year is one of those events. When I come back from my summer, tanned and rested, I get my keys from the school secretary and enter my room for the start of a new year. It always has a dank but glorious smell. It’s like a blank slate in the form of a scent. It represents a building foundation upon which I can create a successful year, no matter what odds may be stacked against me. If the rich school down the street has all the latest laptops and devices and my school has left-overs and hand me downs, it doesn’t matter. If we didn’t quite get the book adoption I wanted, it doesn’t matter. This is where I work with what I have.

The off-white fabric walls call to me and I let my mind run wild with them. Will I have a sound/spelling cards wall or a bigger writing wall. Usually I set up my desk and some music first. Then I make myself a cup of coffee in my Melitta pour-through, a great way for teachers to make coffee. Then I sit back and just linger over my coffee. I doodle in my diary creating and innovating the new school year fantastic. I love having a clipboard with quality grain lined college-rule paper and a soft lead #2 pencil to draw my ideas with. I think way out of the box when I do this. In the same way, I carry a leather journal everywhere I go and I love a Uniball black pen for making tasks and doodling ideas. These tasks and doodle become innovation and most of hem come from lingering. I love lingering in a new year’s classroom because it allows possibilities to fly through my mind.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Linger.”

Author: Damien Riley

I'm a blogger, film critic, & podcaster with an MA in English from California State University, Fullerton. I teach public school, 4th grade as my primary occupation. My views on films and life are usually headstrong and often 'left of center' on movies and life, but I have respect for the other side. I married my high-desert princess (now my queen). We have 3 children.