"So, you said that you have been teaching for one year at this new school, and you are getting rid of stuff? How much 'stuff' do you have? Is your room a total disaster?"
Aside from feeling a little self-conscious about your very poignant question delivery, you ask some very good questions. To answer your questions quickly, yes. I have acquired stuff this year. And, no, my room is anything BUT a disaster, however, it has been 'lived in' this year and needs some reorganization and rethinking. Here are some pictures from yesterday:
If you have been reading my posts from the very beginning, you know that this is my first year in my new corporation. Before this, I taught for 8 1/2 years at another corporation, quit to take a position in a non-profit that failed 6 months later. That is the VERY short of it, however, you should know that one reason I have so many things is because I did bring some stuff with me from my other school that I didn't know for sure I would use. After one full year of teaching 1st graders again, I now know what I don't need anymore.
When I was burned-out a few years ago (the first time), I found an outlet. I learned what I could do at school to give me a spring in my step again, if only for a short time... pitching and organizing. It is my natural love. I found this skill to be extremely fulfilling and I now look forward to it all the time.
The skill I am talking about in my title for WONDERful Wednesday this week is: FIND WHAT YOU ARE NATURALLY GOOD AT. FIND YOUR NATURAL PASSION. LATCH ONTO IT AND MAKE THAT YOUR FALL BACK WHEN YOU FEEL YOU ARE LOSING CONTROL.
If my students and I are having a particularly rough day, I stop everything and we clean our desks. They clean theirs and I clean mine. We go through EVERYTHING. I'm talking folders, supply boxes, and even our book boxes. When we are done, we have a fresh start and it is worth the time taken. I am instantly in a better mood.
Your passion may not be to put on a circus performance for your kids to teach them about fractions. (For some of you, it is. That's okay too.) If your passion is reading books to your kids, then make that they way that you teach. If you are naturally good at telling stories, then THAT, my friend, is where you have it.
No, my classroom does not turn heads for it's perfectly straight bulletin boards and apple theme, but my kids know where everything is and they are taught that being organized is one of the keys to success. Everything that is in my room serves a specific purpose. THAT is MY passion. It may not be yours, but that is what pulls me out of a rut. That is my skill that people notice.
Find YOUR skill. Can't find it? You had it at one time. You can find it again. Finding your skill will give you more purpose than just 'showing up' and 'getting through the day.' Finding your skill and sharing it with the world is what makes you then best teacher that YOU can be. Take action and take control by putting your skill into action in your classroom in some way.
Thanks so much for your question, Brian! I hope this helps you to understand that the need to declutter doesn't just apply to hoarders. It applies to all of us. My question back to you is: What is YOUR skill? What are you passionate about BESIDES teaching?
As always, check me out on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest @burnedinteacher! Send me your questions or comments by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comment below and tell me what skill you have that you are energized by and excited to do when school life is hanging you out to dry!