Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Classroom Cleanup...

... is totally EXHAUSTING!!

I have now spent 2 (practically) entire days in school taking everything off shelves and out of cupboards, sorting through a mass of stuff that appears to have been there since the 1960s and generally getting tired, dusty and sore. I have used muscles I didn't even know I had!! I've staggered into the house each evening intent only on eating junk food and collapsing on the sofa :)

Yesterday I cleaned the shelves behind my desk - which hitherto have been shrouded in a sheet of black fabric so that no-one could see how disgraceful they were. Now, clean and streamlined-looking, they have been allowed out into public, looking very trim with Math center activities in little boxes (will label them later) and all resource books grouped by subject. No longer will I panic because I can't find the Language Assessment book or the binder that has the entire term's Project work master copies!!


And here's my newly tidied Math shelf - see the little boxes of counting gems? :) And I have 2 empty shelves - will have to find something to put there :)

Today's project was to empty a 5-drawer filing cabinet (that has stuff in it from the teacher before me - years and years and YEARS of STUFF!) I am pretty sure that practically everything in it is obsolete but naturally I can't just assume that and toss the whole lot so... tomorrow I will be sitting surrounded by piles and piles of papers trying to decide what to keep and what to toss.

I haven't been able to find any 2-drawer legal-sized file cabinets on the island so tomorrow I will buy (assuming I can find them) 2 of those nice solid heavy plastic file containers as a temporary measure - and stuff them under a table once I've transferred the essential papers to them. Not ideal but it'll have to do :)

What else did I do? 
  • I gutted the class library. We have a brilliant Primary Library and my kids hardly ever look at the books in the classroom so I kept a small selection for rainy days and packed the others up for the Spring Fair book stall.
  • I got my husband to come and collect the tortoise habitat. I know this will not be a popular move on my part but it is going to take up too much room once we start building the Aztec civilization. (I may reassess the whole class pet situation next year anyway - it's a bit stressful always worrying about the tortoise!!)
  • I cleared every bulletin board :)
  • I shrouded all the windows (except one) with lengths of blue fabric and then rolled it up halfway (sort of like roman shades) so that we can actually use our Smartboard this term. (There's so much light at this time of the year that the mini-blinds just don't make the room dark enough to see the board.)
  • I cleaned out the art supply cupboard - disturbed a lot of daddylonglegs and 2 cockroaches - this is another area that hasn't been touched in years!!
  • I carried countless bags of rubbish down to the dumpster area - down three flights of steps and across the courtyard! At least 6 trips in total. A great workout - hence the reason I'm allowed to indulge myself with french fries tonight :)
Well! Having just re-read all this I feel extremely self-satisfied :) A very productive 2 days (although I should have taken pictures of it all!) Hopefully I'll finish everything tomorrow and then can relax on Thursday and Friday, secure in the knowledge that I will be ready for the kiddies next Tuesday :)


  1. Wow Lynn, I am so impressed with all that you accomplished! This must be your break. Good for you do get all of this done. I know the feeling of before and after! Right now I am still in 'before."

    Visit me at Teaching By The Sea

    1. Break, it is :) It is very rewarding but my back is killing me now!! Too many trips up and down three flights of stairs!!

  2. I don't know if I'm more proud of you or more jealous! I am in a constant state of "before", like Pam said! I try to not beat myself up about it, but I just don't understand how some people are so GOOD at organizing and routines and such.

    Way to go!

    1. I know - I wish I could stay this way but sadly I know the mess will begin to accumulate again almost immediately!! But right now the classroom looks awesome - neat, clean, EMPTY and so light and airy looking :) I just have to finish my desk now and clear away the last few little piles - oh and sharpen pencils. I'm going all out to win the pencil war this last term! (I live in hope! :) )