Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Getting Rid of Classroom Clutter

I was reading Time magazine this week and there was an article called How to Live With Just 100 Things about Dave Bruno from San Diego who is on a decluttering mission. According to his Blog, GuyNamedDave, Dave has a goal to challenge stuff and fight consumerism. He intends to get rid of most of his junk and live with 100 personal possessions for a year. He does set his own rules about what counts as a personal possession and the challenge is for him and not the rest of his family. However in the Time article Dave does declare that. "Stuff starts to overwhelm you."

Teachers are notorious for collecting junk (at least most teachers I know, there are a few misfits around who keep a clean, tidy, and junk free classroom). We have our old lesson plans and materials, books and books, things that "could" be useful for a science or art project someday. knick-knacks that some kid gave us years ago, and all sorts of odd assortments of flotsam and jetsam that could be useful "next year" that just keep accumulating and multiplying. Don't forget our desktops that are just covered with all sorts of teaching debris. When one desktop gets too cluttered I just move on to the next desk. That is why I have 3 desks in my room!

So as this school year ends, it would be a good time to get rid of all that stuff falling out of closets, stored in boxes, and trapped on shelves throughout our classrooms. Trash it, donate it to a new teacher, or give things to kids to clutter their bedrooms. I hope to get rid of tons of accumulated teacher trash (well except for the stuff that I could possibly use some time in the future!)I probably can't get it down to 100 things to teach with next year, but I am sure I can get rid of 100, 200, 300 or more things that have outlived their intended purpose or usefulness.

Important: Please don't let my wife know about these plans. She will expect me to do the same thing at home!