Thursday, August 27, 2015

I'll Take Door #2

Teachers in my school district returned to school two days ago and began the process of preparing our classrooms and being professionally developed.  This is a process which takes 100 7 days and actually helps the teachers become accustomed to once again getting up early, learning again how to clear the paper jams in the copier, and remembering passwords that haven't been used in months.  It's for the best, as by the time the students arrive teachers have settled in and are more than ready for the little cuties to arrive that first day.

Being a morning person, I have arrived at school early to jump into "setting up my classroom" before the meetings for the day begin.  I'm sure it goes without saying that the venti skinny vanilla latte helps fuel my energy so by 9 a.m. I've accomplished quite a bit in a short amount of time.  As one might expect, being a morning person, by mid-afternoon I'm usually dragging.

This morning was allocated to cleaning my desk.  Jeez.  I can't really talk about kids and their messy desks filled with more things than one could imagine, as mine hasn't really been sorted through and organized for five years.  Whoops!   But I soon quickly had the drawers emptied and, if I had not been distracted so many times by the interesting and cool things I was finding in said desk, would have had it all back in order and ship-shape in less than an hour.

My teacher friend across the hall stopped in to say good morning and I saw her eyes admiring the stack of post-it notes, stickers, and other random, still packaged items piled high on my desk awaiting their placement back into the desk.     She casually strolled closer and picked up some cute name tags.

"Hey, if you have any extras can I buy them off you?  I don't really want to have to go all the way over to the teacher's store," she asked.  "For just name tags."

Sounded logical to me. I stretched my arm out like Vanna White.  "Sure!  Take whatever you'd like.  I have plenty."  That was obvious from the leaning tower of name tags spread on the desk before us.

"I'm finding some good stuff in my desk," I bragged to her holding up some colorful stickers.  "You should see all this stuff."

But she COULD see it because it was covering up the entire top of my desk at this point.    She picked up the name tags and left, probably worried that I would start showing her stuff, or perhaps she decided she had a few minutes and should clean her own desk. Either way, I continued with the cleaning and organizing and had everything finished by the time our meeting began! Yay me!

Later today after our meetings wrapped up, I returned to my room to see what other things I could get done before I left for the day.  But first, I sat down at my desk and opened each drawer to admire all the little things in their little organized places.  It almost brought tears to my eyes it was so beautiful!
What next? I asked myself.  If I could make my desk look this good, there was nothing stopping me.

So I turned around to the large closet behind my desk.  It loomed over me, practically taunting me as it is the spot where everything goes during the school year.  I slowly opened it, thinking about how I left it in June as I merrily skipped out the door for summer without a care in the world.  A few of the shelves are organized with notebooks and books and a few other things.  The bottom shelf has posters and bulletin board stuff, maps, and other assorted large paper items.

And then I saw it.  Directly at eye level, the huge pile of papers stacked in the cabinet from last year.  Things I'd copied.  Things I'd printed.  Things that were extra copies of things. Things that hadn't been filed.  Things I had copied twice because I couldn't find it to copy.  I contemplated if it might be better just to pull the stack out and burn it.  That would sure be easier than having to sort through the massive pile and then figure out where to put it.  I took a five inch stack from the top and began looking through it.  I thought about what if I just put the entire stack in the recycling bin?   I'm sure one of the other three wonderful teachers I work with would have a copy of whatever was in this pile.  I put the stack back into the closet and closed the door.

I'll tackle it tomorrow morning when I'm fresh and caffeinated.

Happy back to school teacher friends!   This is going to be a great year!  

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