Hacking is bad when it comes to computers but great when it comes to crafts. Today we’re joined by school principal Ana Campbell, the protagonist of author Liz Boeger’s award-winning, unpublished cozy mystery, AppleJacked!, the first book in her proposed Moccasin Cove series.
Liz grew up in a snake-infested area of South Tampa originally called Rattlesnake and still lives in Florida. After nearly three decades as an educator she still prefers genuine snakes to the human variety. She has been a teacher, teacher-trainer, and a school administrator. Connect with her on Twitter @LizBoegerAuthor and learn more about her at her Moccasin Cove Mysteries
Craft Hacks for School & Home: T-shirt Paint
School principal Ana Campbell shares a story from early in her teaching career when this Craft Hack came in handy. It taught an important lesson to her students and to her boss.
“Campbell, what’s with this paint all over my new cabinets and windows?” My demanding boss did not modulate her tone for the thirty smirking fifth graders in my reading class.
I kept my cool and refused to stop teaching just to quiver for the queen.
“Deylon,” I whispered. “Would you please show the principal those Clever Clings we made last week?”
The confident boy had been a frequent-flyer in the principal’s office in previous years. This year I used every brain cell I possessed to find him leadership opportunities. He met my challenge handily. I refocused on the student who had been reading to me and let Deylon take charge.
“Look here, Principal Miller, you jest peel ‘em off and see, mash ‘em, and they go right back on. No mess. We reuse them all over the room posting our work. Ain’t that clever? Let me show you my writing sample hanging on that window.”
I can thank that overbearing boss for this crafty idea. Early in my career, my husband was in the Air Force and we moved frequently. During one deployment, he was in Qatar and I was all by my lonesome in Nevada, where I was hired to teach at a new school. I’ve learned I can avoid student meltdowns when they feel connected to their work. So, I post samples of student work to build their confidence and pride, but, “NO TAPE ALLOWED ON ANY SURFACE!” was the mantra of my highly intimidating principal. What was this teacher-girl to do?
At about the same time, I was using T-shirt paint to decorate some canvas sneakers to wear to school for a garden-themed unit in science. A glop of paint had smeared on my laminate countertop at home and I didn’t notice it until the next morning when I was checking to see if the sneaker design had fully dried. Voila! An idea was born that would solve my NO TAPE dilemma.
I discovered that the dried smear of paint easily peeled off of the countertop just like a window-cling. No residue, no stain, and the thing clung again and again when I applied it to the window, to mirrors, and to my refrigerator. If kept free of dust and dirt, it could be used to hold light-weight student work on the cabinets and windows. I even used it to number the cabinets in my classroom.