The Blackboard

blackboard-green-cleanI walked into that classroom with chalk in my right pocket. It sat neatly ensconced in a box I had just picked up from the main office, but I had absolutely no idea what I was going to write with it. The room was large, about the size of the entire downstairs of my house, but then again it housed 31 desks — 30 in neat rows for the little angels who had yet to arrive, and one at the front of the room for the teacher. That was me.

Across the entire left side of the room was a blackboard. It was green, with a raised, black edged margin filled with corkboard at the top and punctuated by a thin tray on the bottom. An eraser was already seated in the tray, waiting. I extracted the box of chalk from my pocket, shook a few out into my palm, and placed them next to the eraser. That’s where they sat for nearly an hour while I arranged the room to my liking, while I penciled in my brand new gradebook, and while I stared out the window soaking it all in.

Then I began writing, and the words came fast and furious. An entire lesson plan unfolded across the length and width of that board in startling white. In the corners and on the edges, from the center and blossoming out like a flower coming into full bloom, my first lesson plan came to fruition as quickly as a typhoon. And then it was over. I dropped the smaller piece of chalk back into the tray and slid like smooth satin into the plush desk chair, exhausted.

I closed my eyes and smiled, knowing that when I opened them again it would still be there, in startling white, across a field of green.


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