When the teacher before you leaves a TON of stuff in the room...

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Toast, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    Jul 13, 2012

    So........ I got a new job at a new school that I am super excited about.

    The last teacher that was in the room left a lot of "stuff specific to the grade level" behind.

    As in......random posters and boarders in the cupboards, empty containers, 2 file cabinets jam packed full of random files and transparencies that are very disorganized. There are also random stacks of copies everywhere (100 problem math fact sheets).

    Some of the stuff is 4th grade specific, but a lot of it is just random stuff. If I was a first year teacher, perhaps I would be grateful, but since I have been teaching for 5 years now, I have stuff of my own too and have no where to put it!

    I would just purge everything, but this teacher moved only across the hall from me!

    What would you do/have you done in this situation?

    Or have you been someone who has left tons of stuff behind thinking you were helping the next person coming in?

    Honestly, I think she is just leaving all the stuff behind that she doesn't need and is too lazy to clean out her old room. Just my opinion.
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jul 13, 2012

    Since she left the stuff, it is your to do with as you see fit. See if you can give bunches of it away to other teachers and throw away what you can't use.
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jul 13, 2012

    The person before left me a COMPLETE DISASTER to the point I was truly, truly shocked. And before long, angry.

    The number of runs to the dumpster I had to make on my own time exceeded six (I was counting to vent to my husband, then stopped)...and these are those very large cans on wheels. It was gross and unacceptable. I can't express how much of a disaster it was.
     
  5. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Jul 13, 2012

    I was in the same situation last year. There were tons of papers, worksheets, etc., and tons of old games and books. I just went through everything very quickly, and threw out TONS of stuff. Then I emailed her to explain that I had a lot of my own stuff to move in, and would she be offended if I put some of the things I didn't want in the teacher workroom (other teachers can take stuff they want). I just didn't want her to go in the room and think, "I left these for her, and she didn't want them?!" She was completely cool with me giving things away that I didn't want.
     
  6. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Jul 13, 2012

    Every time I step into a new job, there is the dilema of what to do with the old junk. I quickly purge, then put the rest in boxes. As I get time I look over the stuff.
     
  7. TerriInCa

    TerriInCa Companion

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    Jul 14, 2012

    I would ask her if she wants any of the posters or boarders. And take 1 of each "copy" of the random papers and give it to her. Just cause she is a cross the hall. And then when she isn't there, chuck the rest.
     
  8. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Jul 14, 2012

    :thumb:
     
  9. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jul 14, 2012

    I think just ask quickly to make sure it isn't things that she wants (or that the school bought and need to stay in the classroom). Then ask if she minds you give it away or purging.
     
  10. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Jul 14, 2012

    I would email the principal and write, "I'm excited to get started moving into my new classroom. I noted that the previous teacher left behind personal items (posters, copies of worksheets, etc). What is the protocol for disposing these items?"

    Honestly, she should be coming back and trashing it all. If her intentions were sincere in thinking you would use them, then it makes it clear to your admin that you don't need them.

    I would hate for you to get into trouble for disposing them, but clearly they are not of value to you. I would leave it up to him/her as to how to proceed.

    Congrats on the new job!
     
  11. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Jul 14, 2012

    This is what I was thinking as well. Ask if she wants any of the posters or papers left behind for use in her new room. I wouldn't ask her feelings about purging the stuff because it's your room now and your decision.

    I would make sure she doesn't need or want anything she left behind, then start purging what I didn't want or need when she wasn't around. If she does ask about their disappearance, just tell her you are sorting and filing in your own system as you have time. :)
     
  12. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Jul 14, 2012

    This! We have places to put "free" things that we don't want anymore and others usually eat it up :)
     
  13. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    Jul 14, 2012

    Is it possible she isn't done moving yet? I can't imagine someone leave so much stuff for someone else to clean up knowing you have to see that person every day. I might try calling her and letting her know that you are trying to move in and ask her if (when?) she is coming to move her stuff.

    If that doesn't work I would ask the principal what to do with her stuff so he is at least aware that she left a huge mess for you. It should be her responsibility to purge the room.
     
  14. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    Jul 14, 2012

    The last classroom I moved into the teacher was on medical leave and then decided to retire. She taught for 35 years and had a lot of STUFF! When she retired, she said she would come in to go through her stuff and get rid of it. I knew how she worked and it would have taken the whole summer.

    I told her to take what she wanted from the classroom. She came in only wanting less than 10 things. She was very specific about it. Afterwards, I kindly asked the custodians to help me clear everything out that I did not want.

    After they helped me, I treated them to breakfast. I purchased coffee and baked some items for them as "THANK YOU" for helping me out. The teacher's stuff took up a lot of room in the dumpsters. She had a TON of STUFF!!! It was crazy!
     
  15. christine89

    christine89 Companion

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    Jul 14, 2012

    When I came last year there was a lot of stuff left behind. The previous teacher was moving to music so she really didn't need a lot of it with her. I left a lot of it through the year then I cleaned out and did some purging of it this summer. If I didn't use it this past year, I'm fairly sure I don't need it. Plus a lot of it was really old. I did approach her at one point in the year and asked her if it was ok to get rid of some of it. She told me she would throw a lot of things out over the years. And we have a table that is put out at open house for free stuff so I'm saving some of it for that.
     
  16. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Jul 14, 2012

    I would take what I wanted, and cart the rest over to her and let her know she forgot some of her stuff. Or, ask her to come over an clean it out prior to a specific time. Take pictures of the mess she left you. If it is trash to her, why would you want to deal with her trash.
     
  17. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Jul 14, 2012

    The teacher I'm replacing moved to CANADA. I have not been in the room yet, but peeking in the window it looks like a "I Can't Bring This To Canada So I'm Going To Leave All This Stuff Here" kind of clean-up. :eek: :|

    Room set-up should be fun!
     
  18. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    Jul 15, 2012

    I sent her an email politely asking if she had a chance to go through her entire room and that nothing of personal or sentimental value was left. I explained that I would be "reorganizing" stuff to make room for my personal belongings and if she would like, I would be happy to let her take a second look at everything in there before I start "reorganizing" aka......throwing out all her crap.
     
  19. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    Jul 15, 2012

    Very polite!
     
  20. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    That would be very polite, Toast. I just don't believe it should be the next person's job to be the trash man and be stuck cleaning up a mess the previous teacher left behind. It's like leaving your lunch trash for the next person to clean up.
     
  21. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    The person I replaced even said to others something along the lines of "Boy, will she have a mess to deal with!" Thanks. Thanks a lot.
     
  22. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    Jul 16, 2012

    At least the teacher left you stuff. When I cam to my room now I had NOTHING! The teacher that was in my room thought she would be teaching another grade level in this room so she took everything that was my grade level out. Then found out she was moving to another hallway. She never put back things that went with this grade level. She even took furniture that was in the closet that I was supposed to have. Anyway good luck!
     
  23. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Jul 16, 2012

    A few years ago, I inherited a classroom from a teacher who retired. She had taught a 2/3 combo class for an incredibly long time (since the '70s-'80s).

    Anyway, she left all her belongings in the room--she didn't take a single thing. I must've thrown out 99% of the materials she left (lots of the workbooks and worksheets had copyright dates of 1980). It was so incredibly frustrating to have to sort through someone's junk!
     
  24. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Jul 16, 2012

    Not only did I move into a smaller room with MUCH less storage (after teaching 11 years in a school with a ton of storage), the teacher who left all the "treasures" for me was one of my best friends. She really thought she was helping me out. It took me two years to cull her stuff out. Now, the wonderful lady I taught with for 2 years has moved down to 2nd. She keeps dropping things off in my room. I came in today to a huge stack of posters, two giant totes, and two paper boxes of files and various oddities. I went down and asked her if she wanted it back or if she would just rather not know what happened to it. I've worked hard to get rid of extra stuff. (All that wonderful storage led to me being a teacher hoarder. I kept everything that might possibly be used at some point down the line!)
     
  25. Joy

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    Jul 16, 2012

    I started teaching in the middle of the school year. The old teacher was there on Friday and I started on Monday. It was somewhat ridiculous! She was leaving teaching and left a ton of stuff I would never use. I had to junk so much. On top of it all, even though I was taking it to the recycle bin and trash can, the custodian complained to me about getting rid of it. Seriously, why should I keep stockings with the old teacher's name on it?
     
  26. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    Jul 17, 2012

    :lol:
     
  27. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Jul 18, 2012

    I have lots of gifts some kids gave this retired teacher. I felt bad that I thrashed it, but I really don't want stuff with someone else's name on it.
     
  28. indianateacher

    indianateacher Rookie

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    Jul 18, 2012

    I was in this situation, but the classroom I was given had become a place where multiple teachers had left things. At the end of the year, I was trimmed and expected to clean out the entire room! I was so mad, not only about being trimmed, but then having to clean a room that was not cleaned for me.
     
  29. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jul 18, 2012

    Why don't you just ask her if she wants any of it? If she says no, toss it.
     
  30. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jul 18, 2012

    Oh, and I did leave lots of stuff in the classroom I just left, but the new teacher is coming from the US and is limited in what she can bring. I was happy to have received the room with many things already (of course I threw out a lot of stuff as well) and I think in the situation the new teacher will be as well (hopefully!).
     

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