It is a rare and lucky teacher who has a classroom all to herself. At least at the secondary level, all of us, share classrooms. Granted, I am one of the lucky ones who teaches all of my classes in the same room; therefore, the room I'm in is considered to be mine. However, the reality is that at least four of us use the same room for various classes and study halls throughout each day.
Unfortunately, study halls are notoriously messy things; the teacher in charge is usually bored, and so are the students. Things happen to rooms during study halls that would not happen during an academic class (we hope). If, god forbid, a substitute is in charge of the study hall, there is no telling what damage might occur.
Today was a case in point. When I returned to my classroom after a study hall had used it, I found the following:
1. Nine pens under a student's desk. I mean, nine pens. They all work. I tried them. And then I put them in my pen can.
2. Two balled up and dirty kleenexes on the chair at my desk.
3. A half-empty seltzer bottle at my computer.
4. A graphing calculator.
5. A travel mug
6. My other chair on the opposite side of the room
7. Two newspapers spread out over five desks
8. A picture of genitalia in black Sharpie on one of my desks
9. My pile of New York Times articles divided into two piles scattered over a table.
And so I spent the first two minutes of my class cleaning up the study hall mess. Oy. If only study halls were useful things used for, I dunno, studying perhaps.