Sunday, January 15, 2012

Clutter-free Plan (Week 2)

My plan has required me to work on one of my biggest challenges. Letting go. I started this process when I moved classrooms before the start of last year. After a short time, I ended up calling it quits, and quit purging things.
In starting this challenge, I have repeated the following phrase to myself over and over again. "We are departmentalized. You don't teach math, science or social studies any more. Let it go!" It has finally started to sink in! I have to keep the grade level copy of curriculum and support materials that are required. Why? That content area teacher should be able to keep it, but who am I to complain? That's what the corner bookcase is for.
The rest of my plan follows:
1. Empty the file cabinet of all materials that are not related to reading, spelling or language arts.
2. Get rid of all extra copies of materials you are going to keep. No need to keep old copies when you have made new, prettier copies in the last year.
3. Offer the materials to colleagues that do teach those subjects. We have new curriculum in science and social studies, so it no longer is applicable at fifth grade anyway.
4. Scan anything that you really can't part with and save it digitally. Hard copies must be put in the appropriate binder coming off the printer or you can't keep it!
5. Recycle hard copies that you don't need and can't use.
6. Clean and organize my "no desk" area.
7. Use follow Jodi's rules for other parts of the room. Keep, recycle, donate or pitch anything I haven't used since I moved into this room.

The hard part of this is not know what next year will bring. I was told by someone (not my principal) that my role will be different next year. Another teacher called my room "homey" and lived in. Another questioned why I was "allowed" to keep my lamps, benches (she called them couches), and other things. These hurtful comments sent me home in tears twice in the last week. I've decided I won't be held hostage by others. If the job changes, so be it. I will make my room comfortable for my kids and me. We are what matters in the long run. Until I am told differently, I keep it if I use it. Well, that and if it fits Jodi's rules!

Sorry about two posts in one day! This was supposed to be scheduled for yesterday!


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