When you leave your classroom, be nice...

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by DrivingPigeon, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Jul 10, 2011

    ...to the next person who will be there!

    I spent 3 whole days last week, and about 3 hours today, going through the stuff that was left behind in my new classroom. And I'm still not done. I think it is nice of teachers to leave new people some things, so they can get some ideas.

    However, this room was SO unorganized and messy. I honestly felt like just crying a few times over the past week because I was so overwhelmed. I found copies of unused worksheets dating back to 2002. I filled 4 huge garbage bags with copies of worksheets. I spent 3 hours today just going through math manipulatives and organizing them. I threw away 4 large bags of used ziploc bags. :unsure:

    I left my old classroom in such great condition. The person who is there after me should thank me! :p
     
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  3. jwteacher

    jwteacher Cohort

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    Jul 10, 2011

    Sorry to hear that. It's depressing how some people can be so selfish and inconsiderate. A colleague of mine had the same scenario at his old school. A retired teacher left the classroom as if she were evicted from it. A galore of junk left behind for him to clean up.

    You'd think a retired teacher with all the time in the world could spend a day cleaning up his or her own mess. :eek:hmy:
     
  4. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Jul 10, 2011

    I inherited a ton of stuff from TWO retiring teachers! Luckily the one who had the classroom I am in was extremely OCD and have everything labeled and organized, the other however..... well she just shoved stuff at me and walked off!

    The title of this thread reminded me of this note that I found when I opened the door to one of my cabinets:
    [​IMG]


    It was awesome and just plain blew me away!
     
  5. AZMrs.S

    AZMrs.S Cohort

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    Jul 10, 2011

    I totally understand what you mean... My new classroom is the same way. She left a ton of great stuff, if I can weed through the junk. She took all of her furniture and everything so I have had to try to find extra stuff... It has been very overwhelming. I can't wait to get it done!
     
  6. MandaNicole01

    MandaNicole01 Habitué

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    Jul 11, 2011


    OMG! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this letter! For some reason it made me teary eyed!!! WONDERFUL! Thanks for sharing!!! :)
     
  7. america82099

    america82099 Rookie

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    Jul 11, 2011

    That is exactly what happened to me last year. The teacher, was moving to another campus, left everything, even personal belongings like pictures, decorations, etc. I put them all in a box and held onto them for a while but eventually had to just put throw them out. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to go through everything. All year long I keep finding new things, some useful, some not. I never felt really organized either. I spent a lot of time at the end of the year packing things up, and throwing things away, so hopefully I won't have the same problem this year.
     
  8. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jul 11, 2011

    I left half my stuff behind because I left midyear. It was suggested that I do so for the kids' sake. They agreed to mail it to me at the end of the year. The new teacher didn't get a new contract. I'm told my stuff was left behind even though he promised to box it up for me. Luckily I'm back in the area. I will box it up myself and ship it on their dime. Frustrates me a little because I spent 2 weekends coming into the room and helping him get started (on MY own time AFTER I quit working).
     
  9. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Jul 11, 2011

    I was hired 2nd quarter, and even after I was hired other people will still using my room for storage and small group teaching. When the principal finally gave me permission to set up my room, there were 3 different teachers' things in there, including opened cans of drinks. They didn't even know I was hired and that I needed to set up my room.

    It was so much stuff I could never move it all. It was 2nd quarter after all, so I removed what I could, but a lot of stuff remained on the shelves because it looked important, no one claimed it, but they told me I might want to leave certain things alone, so I did.

    I could never get the room clean either. My husband and I scrubbed the blinds and floors for days, it would never get clean. The custodians said they can't get the floor or blinds clean either.

    I would love to be able to be hired before school starts and have adequate time to clean and set up my room.
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 11, 2011

    When school finished in June, I fully expected to have a homeroom-- I ALWAYS do.

    I found out about a week ago that I won't this year.

    That means that during new teacher orientation, I'm going in to clear out my room. I have a LOT of stuff stored!!!
     
  11. historynut

    historynut Rookie

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    Jul 11, 2011

    When I've moved rooms (and I've done that quite a few times) I always go to the team lead and ask what they want me to leave and what I can toss. I try leave the stuff that has to stay nice and neat on shelves so the following teacher can go through it quickly.


    I'm taking a room from a teacher who is a friend of mine at the school. She got moved to a different grade. I'm not looking forward to going in their in Aug because she was mad she got moved and she wasn't taking a lot of the stuff she had accumulated over the years. I told her I didn't want it but she said she was going to leave it anyways. The first day I get into my room will be going through all of that. Hopefully she cleaned out the second closet or I'm going to have trash to deal with too.
     
  12. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Jul 11, 2011

    For my last 2 positions, I have been given a completely empty room--meaning 4 walls. While it does stink to have to sort through stuff, I would almost prefer that over making 1500 lists of things I need that no one thought to order (including enough desks for my kids to sit on--nothing beats bringing cafeteria tables down to the classroom on the first day AFTER the school doors have opened because you're 10 desks short!). When I left my room this year (because I'm transfering), what I did leave was very organized.
     
  13. juliechsa

    juliechsa Rookie

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    Jul 11, 2011

    My first classroom I inherited from a teacher who retired after 40 years in the same room. It wasn't pretty. The worst part was that he had promised things to people (like the computer) and didn't leave a note or message for the new hire (me). So after I'd been working on my great new room for about a month, the other staff who had been promised things came in for the beginning of the year inservices and ... let's just say it wasn't the best way to start a first job!
     
  14. sally reading

    sally reading Rookie

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    Jul 11, 2011

    Me too

    I am like agdamity. When I came, I had only 4 walls, an old teacher's desk, a shoddy chair, a couple of tables, and that was it. Had to go find desks. I had no filing cabinets, not even paper or pencils. I was so disappointed as it was a primary room that needed manipulatives. I did get to place an order, but dollars only goes a little way. I spent many hours, garage sales, and thrift shops finding things for the classroom. Afterwards, the principal said he didn't realize that I had spent my own money. Well, duh. I would have liked to go through stuff and pitch. Just be thankful you have stuff!!
     
  15. stampin'teacher

    stampin'teacher Cohort

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    Jul 11, 2011

    I know exactly how this feels!

    I am taking over a 4th grade class from a teacher who was in that room for about 20 years. I think partly she left so much stuff because she thought maybe I could use it, and partly bitter about leaving. I say that because there's so much stuff that's basically blatant trash....

    I just started a giant pile in the middle of the room for 1800 Junk... I know she probably meant well, but it took me a total of 10 hours just to CLEAN out before I ever started planning what to do with the space!
     
  16. Mommyserenity

    Mommyserenity Devotee

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    Jul 11, 2011

    I was in the same boat last year. I opened the door to my classroom and almost fainted it was such a disaster. The person before me pretty much packed her purse up and walked out the last day of school. Didn't even bother to erase the white board, which is now permanently stained. Everything was thrown all over the room...trash and junk just thrown on shelves etc...storage cabinets bursting open with this and that of no use whatsoever. I don't know how she ever found a thing in there. What is more gross were the toothbrushes, used toothpicks, old food items etc that she left IN THE DESK all summer.:eek: It took me two full weeks of going through things to get the room looking ready for students. SO glad I kept my room this year. It feels lovely to walk in and know I left everything in a certain way.:p I could never just leave a room for another teacher like that!
     
  17. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Jul 11, 2011

    In my current room the previous teacher took almost everything, left me with nothing! She was moving from K to Pre-K. She left me things that were totally unusable. And no, I didn't get to place an order. Thankfully, I have a lot of things because it seems like everywhere I've been there's been a shortage of manipulatives. So I've ended up over the years either buying my own supplies or taking from my own children as they outgrew things. I'm a pack rat!
     
  18. math1abee

    math1abee Companion

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    Jul 11, 2011

    That is DISGUSTING!

    My room was just plain DIRTY! I went in there to clean and I swear it hadn't been dusted in years. There was black caked dirt on the shelves, tables, desks, windowsills. There were globs of dust EVERYWHERE and I'm allergic to dust mites so needless to say I was sneezing like crazy. I was left a lot of worksheets to go through but I had to take 3 filing cabinet shelves of it home with me because the leaving teacher didn't want me to throw any of it away and a lot of it was stained and really old and gross. That took two days, but I have a lot of great worksheets so it was worth it.

    Now my classroom is all set up and I LOVE it...I remember walking into and wanting to cry, now it is totally my room! :D
     
  19. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 11, 2011

    Doesn't maintainence clean the rooms over the summer??

    Every classroom in my building has the carpets cleaned, the windows washed, the desks cleaned, and so on. About a third are repainted each year.

    If a teacher ever left behind a mess like that, it wouldn't be for long.
     
  20. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Jul 11, 2011

    Ditto. I cried when I walked in. Worst part, I was TOLD that when the former teacher moved out, my colleagues in the building were vultures and cleaned out the room. Not with the former teacher's personal items, but with the office furniture-desks, chairs, erasers, textbooks, the lists goes on. I survived, made it work, and learned a valuable lesson.
     
  21. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Jul 11, 2011

    Back in 1985 when I got my first classroom, the retiring teacher left me many useful items, including her paddle. :eek:
     
  22. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jul 11, 2011

    I'm going into my 3rd year at the same school, and there are lower cabinets in which I have yet to have the courage (or ability to get down there) to pull the stuff out & sort it - I know that I have seen shells & rocks, but who knows what else is down there. I have determined that it WILL get done before school starts in mid-August.

    As far as cleaning goes... there have been so many custodial cuts in our district this year that I doubt much more than the floors get done. Even then, they don't usually move the "big" stuff, and it ends up stuck to the floor!
     
  23. AsherDasher

    AsherDasher Companion

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    Jul 11, 2011

    Too funny! My how times have changed...

    Just last week I began to go through my new classroom that was left to me by a teacher who was retiring after 30 years or so. It was just so darn exhausting to have to take down all of the posters, boarders, bulletin boards etc. and then have to go through the cabinets as well. I think the first day (after a good 8 hours...) I left the room looking like something exploded. I was trying to sort and group items together so I had things EVERYWHERE! I was able to decide what to trash and keep the next day when I finished after another 8 hour day. I can say now though that I have a very organized room which is a great feeling.

    For those of you who have had to go through filing cabinets full of papers, how do you decide what to keep vs. get rid of, and how do you end up organizing all of the papers? That is my next project that I will be embarking on Thursday with the help of my lovely stepmom :hugs:
     
  24. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Jul 11, 2011

    I basically did a very quick cleaning of the filing cabinets. For most of the materials, the teacher had multiple copies. (There was one science packet that I must have found about 300 copies of!) For many of the materials, I kept one copy. Some things I just tossed. If I would have actually taken the time to go through everything, I would be going through files for years! I figured if I threw something out that was useful, there was a good chance another teacher had a copy of it anyway.

    When I finished going through everything, I had 4 HUGE garbage bags full of papers, and only a small stack of stuff I was keeping.

    I can't believe some of the stories you guys have about moving into rooms...It's like you either start with NOTHING or you inherit way too much.
     
  25. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    Jul 11, 2011

    My first year teaching I found everything in the room piled high on ONE table. It was awful! It took me hours to sort through all of it. I haven't been in my new classroom yet-I'm hoping to see it tomorrow.
     
  26. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jul 11, 2011

    The teacher before me left a lot of things as well (although not as many things as the teacher before you, from what I gather). There were copies of many worksheets that I just tossed out. If it looked like I might actually use one of the worksheets, I kept one to make future copies. I did find some things in there that I really liked, but the rest I could have done without.
     
  27. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    Jul 11, 2011

    This year I moved into a classroom of a teacher who had been in the classroom for over 15 years and she left tons of stuff. First, she said that her friends, the teachers next door, were going to clean but after they noticed how bad it was, they quit. Then the teacher said that she was going to send her son and husband to pick up her stuff but they never showed up.

    I cleaned for 4 full days. I packed and threw away a lot of stuff. I took out so much stuff that it took a big part of the hallway. I didn't even go through 5 huge cabinets that were horribly packed from top to bottom. It was bad :dizzy:

    After all this, the teacher came back to ask me where some of her stuff was. She was asking for specific items. I was so mad that she had the nerve.:mad:

    She still works as the school since she was moved from 8th to 2nd grade and I cannot even look at her sometimes. I try to be nice and polite with everybody but she's the first person I have a hard time talking to.

    After all that cleaning I had to do, I don't want to bring to much stuff or have to much stuff as it could possibly accumulate year after year. At the end of this school year, I made sure I cleaned up my stuff and I'm not going to bring more stuff that will fill more than 2 small cabinets.
     
  28. Andrea L

    Andrea L Habitué

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    Jul 12, 2011

    When I moved into my first classroom at my current school I found things that belonged to the resource teacher. I piled them up and asked her if she wanted them (she had switched classrooms). Apparently the things she left were there before her and she didn't feel like going through all of it. Lucky me!

    I've been in my current classroom (switched rooms two years after moving to my school) for six years now. It took me two years to go through all of the materials left behind. I found candles, wax to make candles, pots, pans, un-opened science kits, faded construction paper, piles and piles of unused worksheets. The list goes on. At least I did have desks, tables, a nice teacher desk/chair, bookshelves, and student chairs.

    Many people at our school are guilty of taking things from classrooms when someone leaves, leaving classrooms bare (so sad). Our custodian and principal have put a stop to the pilfering! :)
     
  29. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Jul 12, 2011

    I don't get the piles of worksheets! We have unlimited copies, as long as there is paper, but wasting paper?!?! It's something that makes my P really mad.
     
  30. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Jul 12, 2011

    When I came to my current school 2 years ago I replaced a teacher of 40 years. She was very nice and left me everything - some things helpful, some not.

    Coming from a school where we never had what we needed - I'd rather clean out useless stuff and find some things I could use as opposed to having nothing. I do know its a pain though. It has taken me 2 years to completely get rid of things I won't use.
     
  31. sjnkate

    sjnkate Rookie

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    Jul 13, 2011

    That's awful!
     
  32. teacherhoosier

    teacherhoosier Companion

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    Jul 15, 2011

    I too am moving into a room where a teacher previously was..I went in today to inspect it..it wasn't horrible, but there were still some odds and ends left that made me wonder if she had actually finished cleaned...but I am happy with the closet space I will have..
     
  33. alilisa

    alilisa Habitué

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    Jul 15, 2011

    I am moving into a teacher's room that was let go of at the end of last year. Let's just say, she literally put the curriculum all over the room (letter cards, books, etc....). The room is very dirty and the custodians have already done their summer cleaning-pencil/marker all over the walls, stains all over the carpets, the sink isn't clean and I won't even think about using the bathroom in there! :eek: I have come close to having a nervous breakdown, but that will happen when I have to tackle the storage closet! Yep-you guessed it, stuff thrown in there with stuff all over the floor and not put back on the shelves! I just wish I could have my nice clean room back! I left it clean and organized for the teacher moving in there!
     
  34. EiffelTower

    EiffelTower Comrade

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    Jul 15, 2011

    When I moved to my current school last year, my room apparently was the room where broken furniture was left to die. It was as if everyone exchanged their broken stuff for whatever new stuff was in there and I was left with junk. Fortunately, I was able to make due for the most part but it was kinda sad that some teachers don't treat school property respectfully. Of course, our room assignments all changed for the new year and another teacher now has to deal with the broken stuff.
     

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