Friday, March 8, 2019

Tidying Up and Discovered... {8 of 31 Slice of Life}

I've been studying the concept of tidying up.  I've read and watched Marie Kondo this winter and have found some helpful tips and approaches.  Today I did a mini version in my classroom.  The first thing I did was set a realistic goal for the one hour I had.  I wanted to do both sides of the closet and realized I should just focus on math.  Three shelves.  

Next step - take everything out of the closet.  My student teacher wasn't quite sure what happened when she returned from recess duty and she saw the floor covered in things.  Plastic tubs, materials, folders, bags - I'm sure you can visualize the floor a mess!  Under the rubble I found bins to organize materials by topic that somehow just got a bit unruly over time.  I started sorting into categories.  I did a lot of questioning - do I really use this?  Does this fit with my standards?  I thought about passing a few things on.  I thought about items that could be recycled and ones that could be thrown away.  I pondered if I had used it within a recent-isn time frame.  As I let go of items, I thanked them for their time.  My heart gave a little tug when I found - Zero the Hero!  

When I began teaching we celebrated every tenth day of school.  This hand sewn by me puppet would visit and bring us an item to count.  It might have been the number of our school year - 50 items for the 50th day of school.  I can't quite recall.  I do remember it was part of Math Their Way.  I did not use Zero the Hero the last time I taught kindergarten.  I set it aside and then I remembered many lessons I read and watch from Marie Kondo.  If you aren't using something, thank it for bringing you joy.  I not only thanked Zero the Hero; I kissed Zero the Hero and said thank you for bringing us joy.  


Thank you Two Writing Teachers for fostering this writing community.

7 comments :

  1. Ok this is the second time I have read about this woman since the March Slice began. Who is she? I am afraid to find out. I decided no decluttering until I am an empty nester. I will email you in September 2020 to remind me of her name. BTW, I could totally picture the mess on the floor and the look on your student teachers face - that was a powerful section of your slice! So long Zero!

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  2. Zero the Hero is so adorable. I would have kissed him, too. I have not made the time for tidying up...maybe this summer, but I know ai would feel relieved when I do. I hope you kept Zero or passed him on to someone worthy.

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  3. I read this and smile. I did that every time I moved classrooms (frequently) during my teaching career and it was ALWAYS hard to let go....and then when I retired in June...oh my...that was really hard...but like cloths that don't fit right, holding onto things does not bring me joy or make my life easier.....My own project at home will soon be CORDS....I have SO MANY power cords and SO afraid to let them go....but they eill...Spring break plans!

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  4. That sounds like fun (using the puppet!) I am headed into school today to tidy things up around my desk area. It's a disaster! I discovered in June that 12x12 scrapbooking boxes (they are about 5 inches hight) fit perfectly in my closet so I used them to organize all off my math things. Once I got that all set, I haven't had to fix up my closet again. But the desk area...well - I'll never stop organizing that I suppose.

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  5. I think I need to read about tidying up. My office is a mess. I've tried doing it little-by-little, purely for the fact that I don't have enough time to spend a day or two in here, and it still looks like a mess. Maybe I need to try what Kondo suggests.

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  6. This is such a sweet post! We are all into tidy-big up and certainly our classroom storage is fair game :). But to me your piece speaks of the ways we teach that are changing all the time. It doesn’t make them less worthy or wrong, but we do change how we teach. I remember Zero the Hero being a strong character to Kindergarteners! Glad you gave yours a special kiss before saying goodbye.

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  7. I commend you for the organizing and disposing of items no longer needed. I should probably let a little Marie Kondo into my life, but I am resisting (for now). Maybe one day . . .

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