I’m pushing back.

I kept my classroom door shut this morning.

I’m the technology teacher and my classroom is the tech lab. I have a printer hooked up to all 36 machines in my room, so naturally if a kid needs to print they come to me. The problem is that a lot of students need to print. Sure, they’re supposed to print out their work at home but everyone has printer problems. I get it.

The question is we also have a library in the building that they should go to in the morning to work on computers and print out too. Why do they come to me? I don’t know why, but they do. I always let them, but I guess I just had a moment of clarity this week. I had twelve kids in here when I just walked in the door and they all had issues.

“Why won’t this print?”

“What’s the password to get on this machine?”

“Why won’t this print?”

“I don’t know my account password?”

“Why won’t this print?”

You get the idea. I walk in with everything already on fire. That is not the way to begin a day. I come to first period already frazzled.

So today I kept my door shut and my lights off. Most kids got the hint but a brave few knocked on my door. I politely told them the library is open for printing and they should go there instead. They looked surprised but quietly shut the door and left. My room was peaceful for the next half hour and the amount of work I got done was staggering. I prepared for the day, and checked off a pile of things on the To-Do list I created for myself in the shower. It was sublime.

I could feel guilty, but I’m not going to. I am practicing self-care, the new buzzword of the day. I didn’t leave the kids stranded, and I am better prepared for my day. Everyone wins.

I need to push back a little more often.

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