Students help lift fall fog

Cheryl Cunningham

Editor’s note: Cheryl Cunningham, 40, is a fifth-grade teacher at Cameo Elementary School in Clovis. Her diary will be published through Friday.

Manic Monday always starts out with a few taps (or slams) of the snooze button. As fall approaches, the mornings seem more dark and damp as I feel my way to the coffeepot. Walking out the door with my 44 in hand (that’s 44-ounce of coffee), I slowly woke up to the realization that my mission is to make the best of a new week.
Mr. Anaya waited patiently as I rolled my pack-n-crate down the hall with an entourage of students behind me carrying bags from the Dollar Store. They anticipated an after-school reward; they know me so well.
Mr. Anaya (my dedicated parent volunteer) puts all the chairs down and sharpens the pencils.
We joked about the pistachio shells in one student’s desk and were both pleased that the refrigerator did not leak over the weekend. The guinea pigs (Minnie and Baby) screamed for the carrots and lettuce they knew I brought.
I had 10 minutes to run copies of the morning’s assignment that I should have copied on Friday.
Then the kids shuffled in and settled down to read.
Monday morning’s fog slowly lifted from the faces and minds as we charged our brains with water and music. Listening to the performance of the Xmas Files, this year’s Christmas musical, faces lit up with anticipation and desire to be agents, elves, reindeers and choir angels.
“Mrs. C, I want to be Agent Mistletoe!” one student cried. “Can I, can I please?”
As the children swelled with excitement, my mind amplified with thoughts of weekly rehearsals, choreographing the Reindeer Jive number while working on my technology plan that is due to my professor by midnight Tuesday.
Lunch was a fast roast beef sandwich. In my own Monday morning fog, I guess I didn’t realize the bread was moldy when I made it.
I ate the sandwich over the copy machine while talking with another teacher about a student concern.
The afternoon was busy too.
Mission Impossible seems to be the game that all teachers play daily. Somehow, we complete our missions and find time to hug the children, laugh at each other’s mishaps and support tired colleagues at the end of the day.

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