Today we are two days from starting spring vacation, and at the end of the day, this was my desk:
I can't even sit here any more, because there is no room. It's easier to just grab my laptop and sit with my students.
There's a lot going on, okay? (She says, defensively.) My students need me to research, to plan and prep, to reflect, to assess. They don't need me to bustle around organizing my desk.
More to the point, I have no idea how to organize this kind of stuff. My coffee table at home looks pretty similar. I clean them off from time to time, of course, but it's a matter of days until we're right back where we started (although the above picture is a pretty extreme case). Why is this? My classroom isn't entirely paperless, but between the focus on reading and our school's one-to-one iPad adoption, there's a lot less paper than there used to be. And yet it STILL piles up like this.
Sometimes I feel like there's a lack of some key skill is what's keeping me from being a truly good teacher. I don't maintain a laser-like focus, and things slide out of my control little by little, until I'm surrounded by chaos. The same thing happens with classroom routines. You know that old chestnut, "You get what you allow"? Sometimes I am about ready to lose it with my students, then I realize--oh, I've been ALLOWING this! So I tighten things up. Reintroduce a seating chart. Review classroom procedures. I've been doing this the past several days (because a disorganized class is more problematic than a messy desk), and it helps. A lot. But I know I will have to do it again later in the year, and several times next year, and every year after that as well. How do you "KonMari" your students?
All the same, I only really cringe about the state of my desk when I look at it from the perspective of one of my more organizationally gifted colleagues. Usually, I fall back on a quote I've had hanging over my desk as long as I've been teaching.
I'm wondering if my fellow late night posters and seat of our pantsers can relate? Or are some writers who plan also organizationally challenged when it comes to their physical space?
Or am I the last non-Pinterest-worthy teacher out there?