Being chosen to clean the erasers was a step down from the ultimate fifth grade teacher assignment, the Big Kahuna of positions: Safety Patrol.
Safety Patrol kids got to wear belts that strapped across the chest and waist. Neon orange with strips of silver reflector, and a heavy metal badge that looked like a bonafide police badge. It wasn't until late spring of my last year in Elementary school that I was finally chosen for the Safety Patrol. I could hardly contain my excitement, though of course no one would ever know that, because by fifth grade it is required that all enthusiasm be squelched beneath the facade of "no big deal." Secretly, though, I felt my heart pumping when Mrs. Jackson handed me my badge and the orange strap. I nodded my head as she reviewed my responsibilities. I was to aid the crossing guard, and make sure the little kindergarteners and first graders didn't run out into the street when school was out. I had to stay until the second bell rang, and was to be at the school early in the morning all week, before the kids with rich parents started dropping them off at school. The poor kids all walked. And we came early to play on the playground before the bell rang.
I'm trying to figure out how they made it so cool for kids to do chores like clean erasers. Seriously. If I could package the trick I would be famous! (And my house would shine!)