A Day In the Life

Blasted Little Gremlins

I swear, I have gremlins in my classroom. Or maybe they’re sprites. Or little brownies. Whatever. I just know that someone is messing with me.

It started back in September, when I first moved into my classroom. I had unpacked and set out a lot of my classroom stuff, and I knew just where everything was. At this particular school, I’m only there two days out of the week. Two nonconsecutive days out of the week. On days when I’m not there, to the best of my knowledge, my room is unoccupied. Back to September. I returned one morning and discovered that my magnets on my bookcase had been moved to the file cabinet, and one of my two Etch-a-Sketches had been moved from the bookcase and placed in the wardrobe. Puzzling? Yes, but not wanting to make it into anything, I replaced all the misplaced items and went about my day.

Flash forward a week. The magnets are back on the file cabinet, items in my catch-all basket at my work station are strewn across my work station, the one Etch-a-Sketch is back in the wardrobe, and the second Etch-a-Sketch is MIA. Well, now someone has actually removed something from my classroom. Stolen, if you will. This warrants a complaint to the office, where they insist that no one uses my room in my absence, and they would know, because if someone wanted to get in there, they would need to get the key from the office. Fine. Whatever. The magnets and the remaining Etch-a-Sketch get put into my desk drawer, the work station gets picked up, and I go about my day.

Flash forward a couple of weeks. This time, upon returning to my classroom, I notice previously stacked chairs are unstacked, my work station is in disarray again, and items on the bookcase are askew. I take another trip down to the office, and they assure me again that no one is in my classroom when I’m not there (although at this point it is stressed to me that it’s not my classroom in my absence, it’s additional space to be used as the administration sees fit). I assure them that I have no problem with the space being used in my absence, but I do have a problem with people messing with my stuff. Fine.Whatever. I restore my classroom, and I go about my day.

Fast forward through a few more episodes similar to the ones above, and one where some unusual items actually mysteriously appeared in my classroom, to this past week. I return to my classroom and discover that the clock is missing off my wall. Er, the school’s wall. Gone. No where to be found. Kapoof! I trudge down to the office to inquire about my missing clock. No one knows why it would be missing, and it is unanimously agreed that my classroom may just be cursed (although my money is still on gremlins). Fine. Whatever. I go about my day without a clock.

Fast forward a couple of days (no clock yet), and what do I discover this time? A ceiling tile is missing. Agh! Okay, well, this one can be explained. We had a warm spell, which caused the snow on the roof to melt, which resulted in a rush of water to leak into the ceiling of my classroom (a leak that I reported to the school back in October), causing said water to rip through the ceiling tile and into my classroom.

But I still blame the gremlins.


9 thoughts on “Blasted Little Gremlins

  1. I share your frustration!! I also teach at two schools (70/30). The second school I teach one full day and one half day while the rest of the time is at my other school. The half day and full day are also not consecutive. Also, another art teacher uses the room in between the two days I use it. And when we aren't using it, it's used by the reading program, a tutoring program and as a test taking room (that's only who I know uses it, could be more). I run in on my half day with 5 min to prep my K/1 and basics like scissors and glue are missing. Arg! Keep me updated on your gremlins. I'm curious on how you'll handle this! Maybe share some advice?


  2. I admit, it was me. I've been zooming across the country (or to where ever you are) and messing with your stuff. I happen to love Etch-a-Sketches, so I couldn't help myself. As an elementary art teacher, I guess I have too much extra time on my hands!

    (Ha ha)


  3. Same thing in my classroom- Questioned around, found out it was the CUSTODIANS making art! That is right- in both art rooms they were having a blast In my room with my neon paints and sponges and in the other art room using her oil pastels and chalks! 🙂 Some gremiins are big kids.


  4. I often have the same thing happen. I too have more than one school, so when I get back things are often in different spots. However, in my case, it makes sense. My classroom is used for PE when I am not there. Kids are running around, and my art supplies tend to get knocked over or moved.


  5. Why is it that the room of a regular classroom teacher belongs to her, but the art room belongs to everyone? My art room is used for meetings, tutoring, and if I didn't complain so much it would be used for our After School Program…it probably is when I am not looking. I stay at the same school, but it has happened at every school I have worked…things are moved, messed with and taken. Faculty meetings are held in my room…teachers come in and move chairs around and then get up and leave them for me to put back in place. All so the Admin can look good. Administration has a thing for art rooms I think…secretly they all want to be art teachers, I think.
    I have had my Custodian tell me that classroom teachers ask her to open my door so they can get supplies from my room, and even so they can put them back before I know they have borrowed. Each summer I have to pack up my closet in a way to prevent anyone from getting to my major supplies…one teacher complained to me that she couldn't get in my closet to the construction paper I had because my chairs were stacked in front, then said why did I have sooo much of it anyway? AHHHH, can we please just teach art and not have fight for our rooms.


  6. OK, I had to re-visit this and I'm glad I did. I can't imagine anything funnier/sweeter than the ideda of supposedly grown-up custodians playing with art materials when they should be mopping your floors..

    These days I have my own room (wasn't always that way) and generally it isn't disturbed, but I never found out the answer to the time I found glitter residue in the sponges, on the tables etc. I despise glitter, and I think whoever the culprit was, he or she was scared of what I might do to to retaliate if I found out.

    I think you need to set a booby trap…


  7. This would make me crazy! Someone is in there working with kids but not supervising them or someone is playing a prank on you. If the later were the case I think they would have come clean by now. If it were me I would have to have a web cam set up just to get to the bottom of it. Let us know if you find out!


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