Ack!!! What to do????

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by wvteach, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. wvteach

    wvteach Rookie

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    So, I saw my classroom for the first time today. The teacher that left is still going to be in the building just in a different spot. My question is....she left A LOT of stuff. Some of it I can use....most of it not so much. How do you go about getting rid of her things without stepping on toes???? It took me 4+ hours to go through one smallish bookcase!!! Don't get me wrong...I am thankful for her generosity....but I am just feeling completely overwhelmed. Anybody else ever gone through the same???
     
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  3. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Does your school have a place where teachers can place things they don't want for other teachers to look through? We put everything on a table in our lounge and people just take anything they want.

    If you find unwanted lesson plans, projects, etc., I would just throw them out. There is no point in keeping them. Don't feel bad!
     
  4. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    If the teacher is still in the building, I might run it by her first. Just, I already have these things and was thinking about setting out for other teachers, would that be ok with you.

    I agree with DP-if you're not going to use it get rid of it now. Take it from a bonafide packrat-5 years later you'll be going through the closets saying-why do I still have this stuff? ;)
     
  5. janney

    janney Cohort

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    Have you talked to her? Are you sure she's all moved out? If she is and she left it all for you I would just ask her if she wants the stuff back that you decide not to use; if not you can throw it away or donate it. If there is that much stuff, she probably didn't feel like going through it all.
     
  6. teachgrade5

    teachgrade5 Comrade

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    I would also talk to the other teacher, and then I would talk to your grade level teachers. Maybe they would want the things?

    We had a new teacher move into a 3rd grade classroom, and she spent all day Monday cleaning out her new room. She found a moldy, dead mouse in her cabinet....eww!!!
     
  7. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    :eek: EEEEEEKKKKKK!

    Wow, lol!!!! A dead, moldy mouse! Lol.

    I have the opposite problem - I find myself too quick to get rid of things. I am the opposite of a pack rat.

    I just realized I used mouse and rat in the same post, but for different reasons...
     
  8. teach1st

    teach1st Comrade

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    I went through this about 2 years ago. The first year I tried to leave anything that I thought could be valuable. Then, I began purging stuff as I knew I didn't use it. Anything that I thought she might want or had her name on it, I put in her room. I know that is can be a pain to store this amount of stuff. I was trying to be respectful because she had taught my grade for 10 years. So she definetly knew what she was doing.
     
  9. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    When I moved into my new classroom I had the same problem. To make it more interesting, my best friend had been teaching in the room before me. She let all sorts of "treasures" for me. She knows how much stuff I had, but left a ton of crap. (Really no other way to describe it.) I wasn't able to go through much the first summer because of time (they were laying linoleum, so I had 1 1/2 weeks to get all my stuff in there). So last summer was spent purging her stuff. Tons went into the workroom for others to go through, then to trash or Goodwill. This summer was spent going through my stuff. More trips to the workroom, trash, and Goodwill. My principal came in today and made a few turns around before coming over with a huge smile on her face. She was so excited with the stuff I had cleared out and they way I was pulling the room together. She is all for us cleaning house. She even hired a couple of high school boys for muscle this summer. They moved large stuff out for us. Talk to your new principal, let them know you have a lot to go through and get rid of. There may even be somewhere that they can store it for now so you can go through it in bits.

    Total side story, I got rid of my teacher desk this summer (GREAT decision!). I just dumped the top drawer into a plastic tub. The sped teacher that works with me was in the room as I went through that tub. She finally took it away from me, pulled a few things out, and told me the rest was trash. It cut me to the core, but I follwed through and dumped it. She so knows me and knows I would have picked and prodded forever on that drawer! lol (definite packrat tendancies!)
     
  10. wvteach

    wvteach Rookie

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    She has taught for a good long time and is going into a support position. I am going to call her tomorrow...but still get the guilts. I am the total opposite of a pack rat...if I don't use it...I lose it. I am not about the clutter!!! It just seems like such a daunting task!!!
     
  11. wvteach

    wvteach Rookie

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    Haha!! Speaking of desks....this one is totally full....along with both file cabinets, 3 huge bookselves, 2 medium bookshelves, 4 large cabinets, and did I mention the fish tank and the guinea pig???? :woot:
     
  12. Dee452

    Dee452 Comrade

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    Did we get assigned the same classroom by mistake?:lol:
     
  13. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    I assumed a managment position and inherited a couple file cabinets full of files. I put all of them in storage boxes and looked in them if I needed to find something. When I had time, I sorted them. For a long time I had about 6 boxes of "to sort" stored under my desk.
     
  14. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    That happened to me when I first got to my building. When I interviewed, I think I offended my principal because I told her I didn't want anything at all from the teacher before me. I got rid of over 30 trash bags of stuff.
     
  15. AKitchin

    AKitchin Companion

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    When I moved into my new fifth grade classroom, I was thinking the teacher who was there before me was NOT a packrat, but as I went through the shelves, I was finding stuff from the 70s and 80s. Now she had been in there for 5 years, but before that she was in college. Why was she keeping that stuff?!

    I just finished reading through the Debbie Diller Spaces and Places book... I am prepared to go ditch most of my room!!! (however, I am that teacher (in my 7th year) who has purple ditto masters... but I willingly took them from another teacher, they have good content! However, this year I am going to just make master copies of them and ditch the dittos.
     
  16. jday129

    jday129 Comrade

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    I was lucky to avoid this situation. The teacher who had my room before me is one of the biggest packrat in the district. She had piles and piles and piles of junk (I went in to see the room in May). She kept asking-do you want this or that. I said take it all and she did. I spent a lot of my own money on supplies, but I started off with a clean classroom and that is worth something to me.

    The printer for our hallway is in my room and when teachers walked in I had several jaws drop (including the P). "It looks like a classroom in here!" -big achievement right??

    Ask your teacher to spend a day with you looking for anything else she wants and then get rid or/donate the rest.


    I once had to teach in a storage closet that had a filing cabinet of things that I wasn't supposed to touch. I finally poked my nose in it in Jan it was full of student files from the 70's and early 80's (not cum folders, just teacher made files). I threw them out that day and finally had a place to keep some supplies.
     
  17. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I was lucky that the teacher I replaced had moved to DC. So I just started making a toss pile and the janitor would come take the stuff. I am still getting rid of a lot of the stuff that was hers. I am starting year four in my room.
     
  18. heymrsp

    heymrsp Rookie

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    The teacher I replaced when hired moved into the classroom next door into a support position - 5 years ago. :) She left almost all of her things and wouldn't move them out to her new room! I finally started emptying cupboards that October and depositing them at her door. I had no where to put my stuff! She retired this summer, and my teaching partner and I moved classrooms last week. I felt NO remorse tossing her "leftovers" that were still hanging around! I filled an entire bin (school sized, not room sized) of "stuff" that was in the room - hers, mine, and just plain old stuff that was left in the room for years! My theory was that if I havent used it in 5 years, I am not going to use it ever! I also realized quickly that if the Teacher resource materials had a copyright date that was before I was born, they needed to be recycled! I feel a ton better now with a much more streamlined room(that still needs to be unpacked, but that's a different story!). Don't feel guilty~ask, move, or toss. You shouldn't have to store it in your room.
     
  19. jsgirl

    jsgirl Rookie

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    I can give you a little of the other perspective...when I moved positions, I left a lot of good stuff for the other teacher thinking she would need it more than I would....not junk but things that I used frequently in that particular classroom. We went through a big transition in our building and were told by our principal to do so. She came in and wanted a clean slate and got rid of all of it. I would have LOVED for her to have checked with me first - or even have boxed it up and let me take a look before trashing it. I wouldn't have been offended in the least!!
     
  20. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    This happened to me a few years ago. I got a fifth grade classroom that had been used by long term subs for two years, and the teacher who taught in it before that was still in the building. She had been the computer tech person and had left a LOT of stuff in the room! I just went and told her that I was cleaning the room and had found items with her name on them. I asked if there was anything she'd like me to keep for her. She asked me to send her any teaching books/supplies that had her name on them and I did- and it was a LOT of stuff. I think she was even surprised! I think the most important thing is to ASK about the stuff. Don't sweat it. I would think most people take what they want with them when they move rooms.
     
  21. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Speak to the teacher.

    Let her know you're overwhelmed. That, as much as you appreciate all the stuff she left for you, it's simply too much.

    Ask her if she knows someone else she would like to donate the materials to, of if she would prefer you dispose of it.

    If it's stuff she really thinks is of value, she'll find another source. If not, you can clear it out. But you don't make an enemy because you've disposed of what she thought had value.
     
  22. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Me, too, and I wheeled it all down to the other teacher and said Im on my way to the staff lounge, do you want any of this stuff? :D PS I wouldn't do that to another teacher. When I leave a class, I take all the stuff, and give away what I want first. It's not fair to give that job to the teacher taking over your classroom.
     
  23. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    We sit unwanted items out in the hall, put a sign on them "Free to a good home" and send out a mass email. They are gone by the end of the day.
     
  24. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    When we leave a classroom--whether to move somewhere else in the building or to go to another school, we are expected to clean out the room and take all our personal belongings. I can't imagine leaving all of my "stuff" for someone else to deal with.
     
  25. jsgirl

    jsgirl Rookie

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    I normally wouldn't do it either, except that we were told to leave certain things....they weren't personal items but rather items that had been purchased by me with school funds.
     
  26. wvteach

    wvteach Rookie

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    Winey Wendy here again!!! Okay I spent 3+ hours with the teacher today that is moving into the support position. Did I mention it is right next to my classroom. She went through every aspect of the room and why I needed this for that or that for this. I had taken down her things that were on the wall (2 posters and two bulletin boards). I saved everything for her and she picked up the posters and said you need to put this right here and you need to set up your desks here and your tables there. Oh my!!! Thanks for letting me vent and thanks for sharing your stories....they helped.

    Oh and did I mention that two of her grandchildren are in my class this year???? :help:
     
  27. smurfette

    smurfette Habitué

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    :eek:

    Pouring a glass of wine and drinking it for you.
     
  28. wvteach

    wvteach Rookie

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    Now that made me laugh out loud!!! Off to pour one for me!!! :lol:
     

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