Add this post under the stuff entitled memories that travel.
My most treasured item from my classroom is a refrigerator, and not an ordinary one. A small tiny silver and black cube that has been lifted all over this valley. Through the years it has lost its initial luster and now is a roving display of stickers from a variety of students that wanted to leave their mark. Skateboard stickers, bike brand stickers, happy face stickers etc. Kids that love the fact that I love them, even to the point of keeping all stickers in tact. It looks less and less like a refrigerator and more and more like a scrapbook, but it is one that I cannot shun to the side, in favor of a newer model. So while it over freezes and sometimes the rubber comes a little loose, I always have a student to the rescue fixing my woes, as no one wants the refrigerator to lose its rightful place…as one student put it…”it would not be your room without that thing.” So true, sort of like my ruby red slippers and giant Wizard of Oz painting.
My room has ruby red slippers, costumes and paintings from students. It is a room filled with love. It is home. It is where my students can be my students, at least for a year, and then visit and reminisce and ask me to re-tell the stories (all true) of how each piece of my room became part of my culture.
The refrigerator still travels on well past its prime and the day it stops, as it will someday, I have vowed to use it as a shrine to my teaching career placed carefully on my Turkish rug with my photo, yes photo. Not requested, trust me! It was a gift for all to see and question. For fun, after my return from Turkey, I placed it at my classroom doorway to watch the expression on people’s faces as they enter. Priceless. The rest of my decor comes with the territory. The ever-changing laughter, love, and constant chaos that comes with the profession. My little traveling refrigerator is my constant that is a reminder of my past, present and future.
Today, the refrigerator lives in my office due to my break from education and the end of an era of being allowed to have small electrical appliances in our rooms. It still works. I might bring it in unplugged of course.