Purge, please!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by YoungTeacherGuy, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Aug 4, 2015

    This year, my district built a new school. One of my first grade teachers is transferring to this site. Anyway, her replacement (a fresh out of college 23 year old) came to see her new classroom yesterday. As the new teacher and I looked through the cabinets, I was amazed to see that the previous teacher left behind so much junk! Literally every cabinet was full to capacity with clutter.

    The new teacher and I sorted through every cabinet (took us the entire morning and part of the afternoon) and threw things away. I found old reading anthologies from the '80s (when I was a student at this school) and an old film projector (with probably 30-40 film strips and cassette tapes). Side note: I definitely had flashbacks when I saw the film strips, though!

    I think the thing that frustrated me most was throwing away empty Tempera paint bottles and watercolors that were completely used/dried up/old. We even threw away old microwaveable food containers (picture the containers that Lean Cuisine come in). :rolleyes:

    I'm not one to have clutter. I hate messes and disorganization (I guess you can call me Type A). It's sad to see the state that a teacher would leave their classroom in--especially when you know someone else is moving in after you.

    End of rant.

    Moral of the story: Please get rid of junk! :lol:
     
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  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    :yeahthat:

    One year, when I had finished about 50% of my room setup, I was told I had to move to another building. When I got there, I found that the retiring teacher had left everything there. She hadn't removed one thing. That sure soured the new year.
     
  4. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    I have to say, I'm very impressed that you took the time to help go through and clean out the classroom for the new teacher. That alone is AWESOME! :thumb:


    This made me think of something...We're required to do a final walk through at the end of each year with our principal. It's more of a check list and chat with them to make sure we've been accountable for turning required materials to the office and our rooms are ready for the summer cleaning.

    I wonder if principals would do a final walk through with retiring/transferring/etc. teachers, maybe it might help the hoarding from 1970s issue? Or not... :lol:
     
  5. SandyCastles

    SandyCastles Companion

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    I had to switch rooms for the upcoming year- I found much of the same in my new room. I spent a solid day throwing out so much trash and donating surplus art supplies to other teachers. There was a store of used supplies, notebooks, folders etc... that must have been growing for 5 years. I couldn't even fit my stuff in the room until after the purge. Stinks when you have to spend time cleaning before you can get to work.
     
  6. MissBee06

    MissBee06 Rookie

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    I tried to be so careful of what I left in the classroom when I quit teaching. I remember being so annoyed when I began teaching at the amount of junk that was left in the room and I didnt want to do that to whoever took my spot.
     
  7. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I also am really impressed that you helped the new teacher clean out the room. I've never had an administrator spend that much time helping like that.

    I've been in a few rooms that were full of junk. The difference is that I never cleaned it out at the beginning of the year, because I wasn't sure if I would use anything. So I had no space to store my things and the room got even messier.
     
  8. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    This will be my 3rd year in my current room. That first summer I went through the closets and drawers. I threw stuff away from teachers that hadn't been in that room for at least 10 years. That means that all the other teachers that had been in that room for 10 years lived with the clutter. OMG it was overwhelming. Even this summer I threw stuff away that was from teachers before me. I guess I kept it because I thought I would need it. Now that I know I don't, it's history!!!! Even my own stuff I have been purging this summer. It feels kinds of good to make room for more new clutter! lol
     
  9. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Yes, it is impressive that you helped your new teacher move stuff.
    When I started at my current room, I had to deal with something very similar. There wasn't that much senseless junk, just things that were junk to me (elementary type stuff, I have no idea why a high school teacher would have that), but I also had a lot of books I didn't need (elementary age), podium, old overhead projector, large TV, carts, a bunch of stuff.
    I took my daughter to school to help, but my principal was there helping me about 5-6 hours loading heavy boxes onto dollies, packing, everything. I was shocked.
    It got easier when we were able to call 2-3 students from our juvenile hall (don't wanna call them inmates) and they helped us.
    It was a lot work.

    I had to pack up everything this summer because my classroom is being replaced, and I had very little junk, almost nothing.
     
  10. Ms_C

    Ms_C Comrade

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    I was just able to get into my new room yesterday. The teacher before me didn't return after maternity leave. I have 3 closets full of stuff. I don't know what is curriculum from previous years and what I need. I also have seen evidence of a critter having been there. I also have the only room that is getting new tile. It won't be done until Thursday.
     
  11. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Every single time I move into a new room, I get the just-took-her-purse-and-left-all-the-junk retiree's room so I can relate. I try to leave a clean and organized room when I move.

    But when I retire, I may just take my purse! :lol:
     
  12. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Word to all teachers: No one wants your old stuff so much you can surprise them with it.
     
  13. Lisabobisa

    Lisabobisa Companion

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    Moving into my first classroom in 2013 I found a box of fig newtons in one of the cabinets from 2007! That tells you what type of mess I walked into.
     
  14. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Like so many others said, I think it's really impressive that you spent so much time helping a new teacher with her room. I've never worked with an admin that would do that. However, I also have to admit that I tend to be a "saver." I'm always afraid I'll throw something away, and then all of the sudden realize I needed it. Especially in sped, you never really know what kind of kid might suddenly walk through the door (new referral, transfer from another school, etc.) and what kind of odd needs they might have. I used stuff last year that I never touched my first year at the school, and some of my favorite intervention strategies have been popular for at least 20 years. Old doesn't necessarily mean bad, especially with the way everything seems to "recycle" in education. I've also saved stuff that I don't really intend to use just in case a future teammate wants it. Stuff like empty lunch boxes and unusable paints is of course unacceptable, but I can understand saving instructional materials.
     
  15. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    OMG! First of all, you're awesome for helping the teacher. Secondly, I can't stand it when people leave or retire and just leave all of their junk behind. NO ONE WANTS YOUR CRAP! Grrr!

    I just left my classroom of 9 years, I was meticulous about cleaning it for the new person. I left them with school purchased materials and supplies that are still in great condition, and an example of my interactive notebook for English I. That's it! I wanted that person to be able to walk right in and get settled. I've never understood teachers who just walk out with tons of papers and files still scattered around. Rude!
     
  16. Ms_C

    Ms_C Comrade

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    Oh wait...one good thing. Apparently the teacher before me hoarded pencils and hand sanitizer! I hit the jackpot there!
     
  17. Mr. Nobody

    Mr. Nobody Rookie

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    I must say that you are very kind to help her. I cannot understand how some teachers can be so inconsiderate!

    I have had to move into two classrooms during my career. The first one was awful. The teacher left the closet, cabinets, art cart, her desk and the book shelves full of junk.

    My next classroom was much better. The teacher cleared everything out leaving a few things that she thought I might find useful (books in good condition, a couple plastic bins for storage, bulletin board paper still in the plastic, etc) on a table. I really appreciated that and sent her an e-mail thanking her for leaving the room so clean.

    I think teachers should not be allowed to check out unless they have cleared everything out because it is not fair to the new person!
     
  18. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    About 10 years ago: Due to construction I wasn't allowed to get into the room of my new school until a few days before the beginning of the year. I cried when I opened the storage room, and all the storage cabinets were in chaos with so much stuff--some from the 1950s! Ironically the file cabinets were empty.
     
  19. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    My first classroom was a mess! I spent weeks purging. At one point, I found an old ditto machine! I teach special ed, and I had to keep curricula for everything K-5, so that alone took up a lot of space. Then you have all the manipulatives and extra stuff they need and we can't always get rid of. I did get some nice compliments from the next teacher when I left.

    The 2nd classroom was bad because the previous teacher had been in the same room for years and had to retire suddenly due to poor health. She also had short term memory loss, so I found notes describing how to do everyday tasks such as turning on the computer "Click the round button on the machine below the desk, click "start", go to programs," etc.

    I'm on my 3rd classroom, and it's the same thing, albeit slightly better. Today, I found an old cigar box that was handmade in Mexico! It's amazing what you'll find!
     
  20. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I think it's great that you helped her! That can be overwhelming to an experienced teacher. As a new teacher...it's an incredibly daunting task, I'm sure. I've only changed schools once. I left a room with a ton of storage and came to a room with one tiny cabinet and one metal, 2 door storage cabinet. EVERYTHING was full. I brought a ton of stuff with me. The bad things was, the teacher I was replacing, was a friend. She said she was being nice by leaving me the stuff I would need...whatever. I showed my principal a picture from that first year and told her I couldn't believe she didn't fire me for so much junk. She just laughed and said she knew I'd get it under control.
     
  21. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    For a while I joked that my P was moving me around to clean up the school.
    My favorite find:
    USED name tags with contact paper on them. So they were all stuck together. The teacher had them in 2nd and they were then in middle school. WHY?!


    And how great that you helped them. I've never had admin even acknowledge the mess I've been given.
     
  22. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    I've done this twice (the first time I found worksheets from 1985 - the year I was born lol) and I hate having to go through everything. After the second time, my classroom was completely gutted and remodeled, so I had the opportunity to do a lot of throwing out and reorganizing.

    I'm in the same classroom, but I now have a completely different curriculum for 4 grade levels, so it feels like I'm redoing my whole classroom over again. I have a set of cabinets for each grade level that I teach. At least this is allowing me to properly organize supplies and see what I really need to get more of :)
     
  23. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Why, oh why???

    Seriously, though--why would someone save those??? :dizzy:
     
  24. Mr. Nobody

    Mr. Nobody Rookie

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    I was wondering the same thing. Hopefully she didn't mean to save them and just shoved them there intending to throw them away later(then forgot).
     
  25. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Hoarding tendencies? I don't know :lol:
     
  26. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I made $75 today because of you and this post! I started setting up my classroom and realized I had---wait for it---6 18 gallon tubs of books. We are switching from Reading Counts to AR. So I decided I needed to slim down my book collection. So, I sold 40 books for $25...One teacher bought 120 books. I really put 130-140 books in the box. Some were new, some were well loved, but all needed to go. I teach T1 (between kindergarten and 1st grade). I had books that were on the 6th grade level. "Hello, I am Mrachelle. And I am addicted to buying books"
     
  27. TeachCafe

    TeachCafe Comrade

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    I know a lot is junk but I was SO hoping the teacher before me left stuff.

    She made out like the Grinch. Just loose screws on a bookshelf and the furniture and that was it.
     
  28. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I had to clean out part of my room last year. There was stuff from the 70s in there. It is a big room and has had a lot of different teachers in there. I won't be cleaning it out again when I leave it. It took my family and I over 30 hours of cleaning to get it to the minimum that was needed for the summer. Of course none of it was paid time.

    If I am transferred to another room I'll take my stuff with me and leave all the other junk that was there when I arrived, behind. If I leave teaching, I'll have an open call to anyone that wants anything in the room and the rest will go into the trash.

    I will say that when I first started teaching, it was a blessing to have everything I NEEDED in the room already.
     
  29. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Haha when I first got into my classroom I found 6 boxes of tissues, 5 hand sanitizers, 10 containers of Clorox wipes and 2 cans of the stuff you sprinkle on wet stuff (like vomit on the floor) that helps you sweep it up (had no idea what it was). That was in the back closet. Then, in the teacher's desk, I found 6 boxes of paper clips, 2 staple removers and 5-6 boxes of staples. REALLY??????????? I didn't have to order supplies for months!
     
  30. Gerelt

    Gerelt Rookie

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    Thats disgusting. I would never leave my junk for another person to clean up.
     
  31. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I wanted to add - at my school our culture is such that we do NOT clean out supplies before we quit/retire/leave so that the incoming teacher will have a good supply of basics. I can totally see how a bunch of junk would be left with the basic supplies, simply because the junk was overlooked. If I open a drawer that has staples and paper clips in it, I'm not going to dig all the way to the bottom/back to see if there are lunchable containers too. I'll just assume that the drawer has office supplies in it.

    But, I am in a very old school that has seen a lot of transition. Lots of little "forgots" add up over the years.
     

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