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February 14, 2007



While I agree it is important for us to be flexible it is also important for the students to have the security and consistency of having their classroom fixed in a timely manner. This highlights the need to have communities realize the importance of maintaining the schools their children attend. Communities should be able to take pride in the appearance and safety of their school. After all which of them would chose to work for a run down business.

Sophia Pappas

Thanks for the comment, Kathleen. I agree that ultimately the issue comes down to the way we as a school community responds to such issues. I also think that teachers can play a vital role in spearheading reform efforts since they are the ones who must directly deal with the negative repurcussions of delayed responses.



I had this exact same struggle to be flexible on Friday when I had five extra first graders in my room (since their teacher was absent) and two lights that went out and then smelled like fire. The janitor then set-up shop in the direct center of my classroom for the next hour and a half fixing the light. Although I was thankful for the new lights, it was definitely not in my plans for the day. I had to just push ahead and spread the students around the room so they were not in danger of anything falling on them. And as a leader I had to show students that we could ignore this intruder and just keep learning. But 1.5 hours is nothing compared to days. I hope your radiator gets fixed soon!

Sophia Pappas


Sounds interesting. Great job charging on.

FYI - my radiator was eventually fixed. Turns out it had been fixed after the first couple of days, but the repair team just left without moving back the furniture or telling anyone. The school based custodial team, my administrators, and I therefore had no clue and thought it was still broken. We discovered the truth that Friday and we were back in my room this past week.


Tahina Timothee

It's amazing how children can bring out the best in their teachers. Last year, during morning meeting,I was told that ALL of my floor tiles would need to be removed and replaced. Subsequently, my first graders grabbed notebooks, pencils, paper and books and we relocated to the library. All my furniture had been pushed out into the hallway. This was definitely exciting for all the children whose curiosity got the best of them and my materials ended all up and down the hallway. We were in the library and my annoyance must have been showing because one of my students said "Ms.Timothee, this is cool,it's like an adventure, we must be so lucky. Usually, we only get to come here once a week, now we get to be here ALL week". Children are my best therapy. They hold me accountable and remind me not to take everything so seriously.

Sophia Pappas

Thanks, Tahina.

Your story highlights the importance of teachers listening to their students to understand their take on even seemingly negative circumstances. You also proved excellent at making the most of the situation, given your primary responsibility to your students.

I feel fortunate to have been your colleague through TFA know the students at your school have benefited from your commitment over the past four years.


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About Me

My name is Sophia Pappas, and I teach pre-kindergarten at an inner-city public school in New Jersey.

By sharing my classroom and my thoughts, I hope to give you more insight into the benefits of high-quality pre-k and how we can all play a role in creating and improving these vital programs. And I want to know what you think, too, so please don’t be shy about leaving comments and using this blog as an outlet for ideas, reflection, and debate.
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