Sunday, August 20, 2017

I'm Going To Be A Realist Now

Here it is, year 18.  EIGHTEEN! I can't really believe it.  It's my 11th year in my current classroom and you know what? It's TIME, friends, time for a major clean out.  I don't know why, but I've been big time in the purge mood lately.  All summer I've been pitching and donating all around my house, so it's not very surprising that it carried over to my classroom. 
Here's a short list of things I've found in the recesses of my tiny little room: 

  • a clear tub, with lid, full of rusty nails, bits of rusty metal and those old-time all metal kid scissors that don't cut anything (but do cut into your thumb when you attempt to cut anything at all)

  • a crayon box, with 7 or 8 black and one blue crayon that looked to be from about 1962 (wish I had a photo, but I gave it to a colleague)
  • enough random paper to fill two boxes (I'm donating it to our before/after school program)
  • two American flags and one state flag--neatly rolled and in a random cabinet
  • six small paint cans of Sherwin Williams interior paint in different colors
  • soooooo many marker sets, found in the back corner of a cabinet that has no shelving--also being donated to the before/after school program
  • a box, commercially labeled "super absorbent washcloths" [I got so excited!] but turned out to be tiny little bottles of tempera paint.  DONATE!
  • a FULL box of dot matrix printer paper (yes, you read that right)
  • about a thousand plastic store bags shoved into any available spot
  • crayons, crayons, crayons--neon, construction, FX, glitter. . . in 3-4 different areas of the room.  Interesting, because I could never seem to find them when I needed them.
  • enough cottage cheese lids for circle tracing for all 500 of my students to each have their very own
  • a very dusty pan thing with electric cord and lid that I think is for melting something like wax.  I couldn't bring myself to pitch it (I don't even know if it works) so I moved it from one side of the room to the other.
  • the usual collection of random pink markers, Sharpies and erasers that students throw or shove into random places--each one dusty
I'm a slow learner, so it's finally dawned on me that if I haven't used it in 10 years, it probably just needs to go. Here's [part of] the pile I donated to our before/after school program:

My room seems so much cleaner! But after living with it for a week or so I keep feeling like things are missing when I see the corner of the cabinet that I've never seen before in all these years.
Then I look in my neatly arranged cabinet, and all feels right with the world:

Lesson planning will work out, right?  I've done this long enough [maybe] to be ready even though I feel like I'm not, right?!

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