The things teachers leave behind

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.SLS, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    Jul 27, 2011

    I just got into my new room annnddd it looks like the old teacher never moved out. She didn't retire, but she left a TON of curriculum stuff, IEP stuff, personal books and textbooks, paper, supplies, binders, etc.

    I'm a little nervous that she hasn't actually left the school and will come back and see that I have taken over her room and moved all her stuff. I double checked with the office that it WAS ok to be moving things, but Good Lord! I would never leave so much behind.

    What do I do with it? What if it IS a mistake and she comes back for it? I feel like I can't throw anything away, but it is almost all material that is too young or outside my subject area.

    YIKES! :dizzy:
     
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  3. Croissant

    Croissant Comrade

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    Jul 27, 2011

    I think I would maybe fill the office in and ask them what to do about it. Maybe they can contact her and double check for you? She might have left some of the stuff because it actually belonged to the school in which case the office should be able to tell you what to do with it...or maybe send someone down to disappear it for you lol
     
  4. LiteratureLover

    LiteratureLover Rookie

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    Jul 27, 2011

    I felt the same way. My teacher left so much stuff. She retired though, so I understand she doesn't need it. She also left me a note that said keep anything I want, and get rid of what I don't. :) Congrats on the new class!
     
  5. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I felt the same way when I moved into my new school/classroom. Is it possible for you to contact the teacher yourself? I emailed the teacher who was in my classroom and just said I wanted to make sure she didn't want anything that was in the room, and that she wouldn't be offended if I gave away things that I did not need.
     
  6. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    She can't be upset with you if you throw out something you don't need (as long as the school did not purchase that item). It's your classroom now so unless your principal says you have to keep it, see if another teacher wants it otherwise toss it out.

    My first job I "inherited" a classroom from a lady who had been teaching for a long time and was retiring. I found papers from 1985-- the year I was born-- stashed away in her files!!!! o_O

    Don't feel bad about tossing stuff-- it is YOUR classroom.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I would ask in the office. The odds are good that they'll tell you to keep what you want and toss the rest. But then you're covered, just in case.
     
  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jul 27, 2011

    I have a pet peeve about teachers who leave and are too lazy to clean up after themselves. Don't worry about what the previous teacher thinks...take the other suggestions and throw everything out (or have a garage sale in your room to give everything to other teachers in the school.)
     
  9. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Check with the office. Maybe she doesn't know her room was moved.

    I inherited a ton of stuff - the teacher before me passed away unexpectedly over the summer. Nobody wanted it. It's a very sad thing to sort through someone else's life work.
     
  10. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    I like the idea of a classroom garage sale so that other teachers can come by and get what they like...but first, I would see what the office personnel says about her stuff...maybe they could give her a call or email (maybe you could). Just to clarify her intentions (if any). :mellow:
     
  11. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    Thanks for the idea to e-mail her - I didn't even think about it!

    I asked the office if they were SURE it was my room and it was ok to move the stuff, and she said, "I certainly hope so" which isn't terribly reassuring.

    I boxed most of it, kept some of it, but I didn't touch the desk. She has a set of stamps that say things like "nice penmanship" "great effort" etc that I really want, but also still has like pictures of her kids and things in there that don't make sense to leave behind.

    I'll shoot her an e-mail and hope for a response. Otherwise, it's going *somewhere,* I just don't know where yet.
     
  12. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Jul 27, 2011

    The room I moved into 3 years ago belonged to a friend of mine. She KNEW how much stuff I had and yet she left a boat load of crap. Because they were pulling carpet to lay tile I only had 4 or 5 days to get my stuff in there and get ready for school. That meant I shoved my stuff onto shelves with hers (and I left a room with four 10' closets across the back and shelves lining one wall and came to a room with 1 closet! lol)

    This summer I finally purged enough to really be comofortable in the room. I got tired of asking her if she was really ok with me getting rid of stuff. I boxed up a ton and let her know so that if she wanted she could go through it.

    If the office has given you the go-ahead, I'd say pack it up. If you are worried about her wanting it, you can always label the boxes and give her a chance at the materials. Good luck!!!

    *edit* When does school start for you? If it's soon, I'd definitely go with boxing it up.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011
  13. janney

    janney Cohort

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    If she left pictures of her family it makes me think that she plans on coming back. When I moved into my first classroom I had everything from the previous teacher still in there. Pretty much the whole school was changing room assingments and they had to wait until they came back to work to do it.

    Maybe just box it up nice and set it in the corner until you hear from her.
     
  14. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    Well, I e-mailed her work e-mail (the only one I could find), and it's been disconnected. I guess I'll just leave it boxed in my room until the first work day... ugh.
     
  15. PinkCupcake

    PinkCupcake Cohort

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    Recycle or give away what you don't need. The previous teacher in my room left lots of things. Some of it was useful, and some of it was just junk. It drove me crazy to see the junk stuff just sitting there collecting dust. When I had some free moments I would get rid of it.
     
  16. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    Teachers go back the 8th, so if there's any time it would be claimed, it would be then. I'll start tossing stuff after that.

    I was also informed that they don't "really have a book storage place" so I have a bad feeling that I'm going to get stuck with a lot of curriculum I don't need.
     
  17. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Jul 28, 2011

    I had that happen and the teacher did retire. I was nervous to get rid of anything to. I ask my new coworkers and they knew the teacher had left the stuff. So ask the other teachers on your team or ask for her phone # and call.

    But considering it's nearly August she should have all that moved unless she intended it to stay.
     
  18. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Oh I just saw where her pictures are still there....sounds like she just hasn't moved out which is RUDE!!!

    The way I see it if you're not returning the next year you should be out at the end of school. You should not still have your stuff in there ..
     
  19. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    Aaaahhh! My worst fear came true. The secretary DID give me the wrong room. I moved all that poor teachers stuff into a pile on the floor. I went in today and found out I'm right next door to her.

    I appologized a million times, and I know its not my fault, but I feel awful about it anyway.
     
  20. alilisa

    alilisa Habitué

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    YIKES!!!! Hopefully everything will be okay! It wasn't your fault as you were told that was going to be your room! Good luck getting your next room ready! :)
     
  21. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Oh no!!! That bites - for you and for her. But at least now you'll have a funny story to tell years down the road ;)
     
  22. KateL

    KateL Habitué

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    Wow! Never had that happen to me. I did have a teacher who left a ton of stuff behind. The cupboards and filing cabinets were FULL. I consolidated it as much as I could to fit my own stuff in, and then started throwing it out during the year when it became obvious that none of the other teachers wanted it either. I just saw my new classroom yesterday, and it's so clean! The teacher only left behind a few binders and textbooks.
     
  23. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    :hugs:

    What a way to start off the year! Even though it's the secretary's fault, could you pick up something delicious and offer to help put it back? It might ease her mind (I'm sure she'll be furious... hopefully directed at the right person!)
     
  24. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I think Chebrutta has a great idea there. Can you maybe make her some cookies or bring her some starbucks?
     
  25. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    I was thinking about getting her a Starbucks gift card and an "I'm sorry" note.

    She was very gracious when I apologized today, but I could tell she was incredibly irritated still. I sure would be if someone had dismantled my classroom and left it piled in the middle of the floor... *shudder*
     
  26. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    LOL.:lol:

    That totally sounds like something that would happen to me.
     
  27. smtownEngteach

    smtownEngteach Rookie

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    Yeah, I was thinking the same thing!
     
  28. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Maybe she'll see it as an opportunity to declutter!
     
  29. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Did the secretary at least apologize???
     
  30. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    So sorry that happened to you! :hugs: I definitely recommend getting her a little gift or baking something.
     
  31. america82099

    america82099 Rookie

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    I did this last year. Kept it all, as best I could, but at the end of the year I did finally start dumping. Now I should get to go back to a cleaner room.
     
  32. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    Her room was pretty organized, but at the time, I was thinking she was gone and irritated that I had to go through all the stuff.

    Now, well... she probably cleaned up at the end of the year, and I ruined it all.
     
  33. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I feel so bad for both of you! Is there any way that you can help her get her stuff back situated? Hopefully that secretary feels really horrible!
     
  34. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    I did my room last week. By the time I got there yesterday, she had already put her room back together and piled MY stuff by the door. :eek: I told her if there was any way I could make it up to her, to please let me know. I'm definitely still going to get her a card and little something too.

    Apparently the secretary did it to someone else too, yikes!
     
  35. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Yikes... what a sticky situation!!

    Last year, I changed buildings and moved into what had been a Kindergarten room (I teach preschool). The K classes were moving to a new addition. IT was obvious that she'd moved most of the stuff she thought she wanted. I was back before she was (the new space wasn't quite done yet) and was itching to start unpacking the boxes I'd moved. I found quite a bit of stuff that I wasn't sure if she wanted... but if she didn't, I certainly did (well, most of it... some of it as definitely junk).

    I wrote her a note that said something to the effect of "Hey, I found a bunch of stuff that you left, let me know if you want any of it." The stuff that she obviously WOULD want and just forgot to move, I took down to her room. By the time she was back, I had a table full of the stuff that I waswishy-washy on if she might want it or not, and asked her to come down and take a look at it. She told me that anything I wanted was mine.

    Only a couple times did she come down during the year to see if she'd left something.... usually it was still in the closet, but once or twice I was using it.. she was pretty cool with it if that was the case.

    Oddly enough, she's moving to 3rd grade this year...
     

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