Day 31: It’s OK to Purge

It is report card writing season, you know..when the sun is beautiful and the only thing you want to do is go outside. I am beginning to notice a pattern in myself around this time of year. I like to clean, reorganize, make little projects seem extremely important. I have become a productive procrastinator over the years and 2016 is no exception.

As you may know if you are following the blog, I am in the process of redesigning the room I am in. As an LTO it is difficult to make some decisions about permanent fixtures. I have the support of the teacher, admin, and fellow staff who are also researching environment and the impact on student engagement. But it’s hard to throw stuff out…

A great purge was done in the summer before I came into the room. The room was filled with the ghost of retired teachers past. Let me clear though- I am grateful for the resources and supplies. I always think that maybe I could find a use for the 1990 edition of math power or the 1989 classic edition of information books. If the kids didn’t use it, if i didn’t use it, and it is not the property of the current teacher I am in for, it’s gone.

I still design a process before the garbage as a last step. I am putting resources in the staffroom for 2 days. If they are not collected, they are tossed. This will provide other teachers an opportunity to find value in something that wasn’t being used. So why am I purging aside from procrastinating?

It is important to maximize the space and value in the room. If old resources can make way for inquiry projects and showcase student work, then that is more valuable then a dust collecting series from 1975. By the way, the oldest article found was from the 1960s…impressive!

What are 3 things you would remove from your room right now? What value does it bring to your classroom? These items provided a great return on the purge investment for myself.

  1. Teacher desk removed = quiet reading zone added (seats 4 students comfortably)
  2. Tele-Sesonry Machine (really cool 1970s reading magnifier) removed = tech station for iPads & computers (dedicated space for tech inquiry)
  3. Old Resources/Textbooks removed = shelf space for manipulative to be displayed and accessible for students

What would you remove?



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