I have a confession…I am a first grade teacher…and I am a hoarder.
Okay, so maybe I’m not THAT bad…but definitely a packrat!
I am cleaning out my room and packing for a move to another building when school lets out. I cannot believe how much “stuff” I have collected over 5 years in first grade! See the gray tubs under the tables? There is one under every table in my room. And the computer tables. And in the bathroom. And under my desk. The kids kick them and it drive me nuts, but you wouldn’t believe how much I am storing in them! I have committed to weeding through 1 each night.
Here is the recycling bin – exciting, I know! But I literally had it dumped today and it is at least half full. How many trees died to fill that box? So sad, but a friend once told me that sometimes you have to waste a little to maintain your sanity! It gives me a sense of accomplishment to see that box because I can see that I am making progress. Now if I could just stop from going back to pull something out!
I guess that fact that I am leaving the building has forced me to purge things that I have been saving for years. Worksheets that I “knew” I would use and years later, I didn’t even knew I had them, and if I did I had no idea where they were. Can I tell you, there are copies I collected my first year, when I taught kindergarten 11 years ago? I have NEVER used them! Then there are the things that have followed me through multiple moves and transitions. I am giving up that balance and the tub of unifix cubes that I personally bought for math. That means these things have been packed and moved by my own little hands 5 times! I am trying to be brutal!
I am committed to moving into my new classroom with a minimum of “stuff” and not getting trapped by things and materials again. This is the Clutter Free Classroom Project on steroids – it is forcing myself to start from scratch. Plus, I figure 50 medium size moving boxes should be the limit for moving a classroom across town!
But…and there’s always a but! I’m returning to a grade I have moved from and still have things packed in my garage from the first time I taught third. I am also certified for special education, so I never know what I could use! It is an endless cycle! My solution, I don’t purge on days when I am thinking that I need to save things – I just leave my room and close the door.
On another note, to offset the craziness of never-ending assessments, I have been doing crafts with my kids.
(I tried to cut off the end-of-year clutter on the counter!)
I love how the fish turned out! The kids used bingo dotters and you could hear a pin drop!
They are loving the crafts and I wish I had done more this year. Is anyone else looking back and thinking of all the things they shoulda/coulda/woulda done? I guess I am just that kind of person – I always think of what I could have done better. I’m trying to remind myself that I am seeing the wonderful things I did when I see the progress my kiddos have made!
Off to make my happy "”to do” list for the week