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Moot Points: Key to success: Keep it simple

April 7, 2015 Wanda Bakker

At Pembina North Community School, an amalgamation of three schools into one has put “stuff” on the forefront of teachers’ minds.

There’s more stuff, but no one knows where it is … skates, for instance. We keep extra skates on hand so students who don’t have any or forgot theirs can participate in class skating times.

I knew where the skates were stored — in the white shed. Taking four student volunteers, I went to get them one recess. Unlocking the door, I found … no skates.

Dashed to the office, was told the skates were in the brown shed. Found the right key. Dashed back. It was the wrong key. Dashed back to the office. Found two more possibilities. Dashed back to the shed. No luck.

“We could cut the lock,” suggested one student.

Hmmm ... no, I decided. The bell rang and we all went back inside.

At the end of the day, and near the end of my hope, I appealed to the new administrator.

“Why don’t we cut the lock,” he suggested.

I checked to see if he was joking. He was.

I was getting desperate when the new administrative assistant gave me the name of a community member whom she was told had put a lock on the brown shed. I called and left a message. Rather certain that skating was not going to happen, I went home and came up with an alternate plan.

The next day, the kindergarten students came in straining with the bulk of their skates and helmets. As I was busy directing traffic in the hall, my teaching colleague Mrs. K came up to say she’d been told to enlist some junior high students and get the skates out of the shed for our class. Where did I want them? Too busy to ask about details, I assumed a miracle had happened with the key and lock, and told Mrs. K where to put the extra skates.

Just before going outside for supervision at recess, I noticed an envelope on my desk. There appeared to be a key in it, but I was on my way outside and Mrs. K. apparently had the matter in hand. But then Mrs. K. showed up during morning calendar time.

“We can’t find the right key,” she said, holding up a key ring on which hung 30 to 40 keys. “I tried every one.”

“I have a key!” I said, remembering the envelope on my desk.

At noon Mrs. K came by to say the skates were inside.

“Did the key work?” I asked.

“It was the wrong one,” she said. “We just cut the lock.”  ❚

Wanda Bakker is a kindergarten teacher at Pembina North Community School in Dapp.

Moot Points is your chance to write about a funny incident, a lesson learned or a poignant experience related to teaching. Please email articles to managing editor Cory Hare:

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