I have packed for 2 days. “All personal belongings in classrooms must go home for the summer.” Principals are brilliant. They’re sneaky, and brilliant. Requiring teachers to go through their personal items makes reflection a required activity. It’s genius! After grumbling a bit about how to create room in my house for a classroom of books and materials, I started reflection time.
I looked at the bookshelves first. Giveaways for the kids! That was fun. I even had a few students say, “Really? I can keep this?” Sure! Once students were gone — off to their own summer vacations — I boxed the rest of the books up by genre. This made me reflect on the types of books I have in the classroom, and made me write a list of needs for the future. I kept thinking about #weneeddiversebooks. Then I started thinking of my friends Christina and Kari, and their wonderful blog post about cleaning up and moving on. (See their post, “Clean Sweep”, at www.teachertriathlete.com or www.simplyinspiredteaching.com.)
After the books were boxed and placed in the car, I started another task. Tough reflection. Each piece of paper, perusing and purging until my eyes ached. Good thing I had a large recycling bin in the room. I filled it three times. I stacked the rest of the files up on the counter. I asked myself, “Really, Jennifer? Do you need all of this?” Mostly I answered, “No,” because that piece of paper, or unit, or activity is on a jump drive (somewhere). I organized the files and boxed them up. One box. Not bad!
On to the computer. I cleaned out my desktop and saved everything I wanted on my jump drive. That small piece of plastic easily fit into my purse. No problem.
Now I’m ready for summer. Let’s get to the beach! (Silver Beach Pizza in St. Joe, MI is calling!)