edu180atl: tori mcclanahan 2.22.12
In the front hall of my school there is a large aquarium. Filled with grey fish, a old fake volcano lazily spurting out bubbles, and faded green plants, it isn’t exactly a visual feast, especially set against a dull cream wall. During my first weeks here I mostly wished the PTA might decide to make it their next school spirit project. After a while, however, I began to notice the smaller details I had missed before. The fish had orange spots, the plants had smudges of red and brown, and (best of all) there was a dinosaur.
The first time I saw the T-Rex next to the sputtering volcano I thought I was hallucinating. His perfectly camouflaged green and brown body seems to melt into the background. As I stood fascinated by my discovery he opened his mouth and roared out a stream of tiny bright bubbles.
In a school it can be easy to become trapped in negativity. As teachers, we want so much of our students and of ourselves and when our expectations are not met, we fall prey to complaining and the blame game. Today, one of my teammates reminded me how important it is to stay positive and see our students’ potential and see the potential we have as well. School can be a dull gray place full of faded people and cream walls. But hidden in every school is a plastic dinosaur blowing bubbles. We just have to remember to look for him.
About the Author: Tori McClanahan is a seventh grade Language Arts and Social Studies teacher who loves traveling and immersing herself in different cultures. She can often be found in coffeeshops reading young adolescent novels.