Daily Prompt:  Protest

I don’t think I’m much of a protester, but when I was a sixth grade teacher’s aide, the room we worked in was freezing cold. A small portable heater didn’t help. The room was large with big empty windows. We all did our work at big tables. After a few days of working with my coat on and appeals to the principal showed no response, I held a protest.

I took my table and chair out into the hallway, about ten feet from the outside door. Believe it or not, it was warmer there even with the outside door being opened and closed. So I sat there doing my work quietly, in full view of any visitors. After a while a couple of other brave souls joined me.

The word got through to the principal and the next day we had enough heaters in the aide room so our coats were unnecessary. I was fortunate enough to not need the job, I just loved doing it, working with the kids. Others there weren’t so lucky, so their not joining in any rebellious acts was understandable.  

At the same school, I was responsible for 96 sixth graders on the playground at all recess times. I had strict orders not to let “my” kids come in contact with the third and fourth graders out at the same time. While the other two aides chatted and smoked “watching” their group, my kids had to stand around on the gravel. There were no benches, no equipment, and the grassy hill was forbidden. So after a while trouble erupted. How could it not? Putting that many restless twelve year olds in a small space where they couldn’t even sit on the grass was just asking for problems.

So my big mouth interfered again. I went in to the principal and angrily (did I mention I was a redhead?) asked him what he expected of these children? They had to sit and watch the smaller children using equipment while they were herded off to the gravel. I’m not claiming total responsibility, but benches and permission to use the grass was installed shortly after.  

Sometimes it just takes a little rebellion to get things done. Maybe I am a protester after all.



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