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Hpylife Hpylife is offline
 
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"stuff" overflowing in classroom
Old 02-11-2017, 06:14 PM
 
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Hi all,
I wasn't sure what "topic" to choose for this,,,so I just put it under class management. However it's not behavior management, more of the actual classroom itself.

I just took a job last week. A long term substitute position. The school is wonderful , and the grade level teammates are fantastic. The problem I have is that the room I am in is cluttered. I like to be in a organized room. Her walls are very organized with charts/etc and I'd leave all of that...but her desk , and file cabinet (top of it) and two other large desks are covered in stuff. ( old papers, pens, misc decorative objects,etc). Her teaching desk had so much stuff on it I barely had room to put my lesson plan book to plan things.

I'm supposed to be in this room until the final day of school. The teacher had to leave abruptly and unexpectedly for some sort of personal reason. All of her personal stuff is still in the room (pictures/knick knacks,etc). Do you think it would be offensive to her if I put all of her personal belongings in a box and tucked it out of the way? I was thinking of doing the same thing with all of the clutter and papers all over, just put them in a box and stack it in closet? Or should I just suck it up and leave things as is?

thanks for any advice.


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Cayo Cayo is offline
 
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I would tidy it up. There are several
Old 02-11-2017, 06:48 PM
 
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months left in the school year. You should not have to live with her stuff all over the place. Then, at the end of the year, I'd put everything back and leave the room just as I found it.
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CC96 CC96 is offline
 
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Crazy mess
Old 02-11-2017, 08:16 PM
 
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I had my own classroom for 20 years before I moved, and it was always clean, neat and organized; honestly, I have been shocked by some of the crazy chaotic messes I have walked into as a sub. Some of these teachers have serious hoarding issues and their classrooms are a fire hazard. I do not know how they find anything or get anything done.
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Old 02-12-2017, 06:22 AM
 
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You've got several months until the end of the school year, and if the clutter is getting under your skin now, you'll be homicidal by May.

I wouldn't strip the room of all her personal items, though. Things such as her personal photos or knick knacks may not be to your taste, but you're a visitor in her room.
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Subinnc Subinnc is offline
 
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Sort of a different situation, but...
Old 02-12-2017, 08:31 AM
 
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I took over with a quarter of the school year left last year for a teacher who was fired/quit. She was asked to leave abruptly in the middle of a school day. Her room was a DISASTER. For two weeks I had no idea if she would return, so I had to kind of work around her stuff. I'm quite OCD and it truly made me nervous to be in the room.

Eventually when it was determined that she wouldn't return, I got the honor of boxing up all that stuff for her to come pick up. That was so fun...NOT.

Anyway, that's not what you're dealing with, but I know how you feel. I would try to move all her stuff to one particular part of the room. I never use a desk, so I'd move everything to the desk and leave it, but that's just me. Our rooms are set up so that the computer is on a table somewhere near the smart board, and that's the area I use to work.


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Perspective
Old 02-12-2017, 09:21 AM
 
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I realize you are going to be in this teacher's room and will need to be able to navigate it comfortably. Put yourself in the teacher's shoes and think about how you would like someone putting their hands on your things. I see no problem neatly stacking papers and/or books, but personal items are personal. Just keep in mind if you would like someone moving your items around or boxing them up and go from there.
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Will she be back to pack the room for summer?
Old 02-12-2017, 10:14 AM
 
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If not, you'll need to pack up the room at the end of the year anyway. I wouldn't mind if my personal items were carefully boxed up and labeled for me. I think as long as you do it carefully and respectfully, do it now.why wait?
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Cayo
Old 02-12-2017, 01:26 PM
 
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I did what Cayo did, and it worked well.
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Photos
Old 02-12-2017, 01:46 PM
 
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Take pictures of how everything is so that you can put it back accurately at the end of the year.
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Old 02-12-2017, 02:14 PM
 
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If I were the teacher in that situation, and you were taking over for the rest of the school year, I would appreciate my stuff respectfully boxed up and put to the side. I'd rather my stuff was safely set aside than left out-- especially knowing that no one will care about my stuff the same way I would. I also think that putting all the papers in a box is a good idea. Since you have several more months, I wouldn't expect you to deal with my mess for the rest of the year. I would not expect you to do that to my stuff if you were there for a few days or a week or two. But 3+ months? Definitely. As someone else said, chances are, it all needs to be packed up at the end of the school year, and it sounds like you will likely be there for that.

If you have contact with this teacher, feel free to ask her what she'd prefer you do with her stuff (if her situation is such that you're allowed or encouraged to communicate with her)


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Be kind-box it carefully for safe keeping
Old 02-12-2017, 02:20 PM
 
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I'm one of those teachers who had to take leave. I would like to be orderly and perfect, but the stress of teaching, my illness, and planning for two months of sub plans was overwhelming. Make it your space if you are responsible for the second half of the year. Be kind and box the personal things for safe keeping. Let the regular teacher know and she will be very appreciative. I was happy to have my sub make the spave work for her. Not all feel that way, but knowing you value her personal items will do a service for both of you.
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Old 02-12-2017, 04:42 PM
 
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thanks for all the advice. I was thinking of just leaving things as they are but it's just no where for me to sit with my plan book & plan. Her desk is where the computer is located/smartboard light. I think I'll see if I can contact her or not and just ask her if it's ok if I remove the items and carefully put them in a box. I didn't want to take everything and put it away, but I did want to clear a space so I don't feel like the space is closing in on me and has some sort of organization.

I also like what someone else mentioned, to put everything back when I leave as I found it. Great idea to take pictures of everything too. I'll do that as well so I can return things to where I found them.

It's not clear if I will be the one packing up her room at the end of the year or if she's coming back to do that. There are years (probably 10+ ) of her plan books there, and her belongings. So I'd assume that she's coming back at some point.
thanks everyone!!
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Old 02-16-2017, 06:12 PM
 
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Reminds me of the summer I worked as a seasonal custodian and we had to clean out the room of a retired teacher. We took out the "stuff" in wheelbarrows up a ramp and into a dumpster.

Ranger Rick's from the 70's, purple "dittos," boxes of overhead transparencies, a computer so old it used cassettes for storage; computer went we kept the cassette player.
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Box it all up!
Old 03-03-2017, 11:41 PM
 
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I cannot stand clutter myself. Yes, box it all up and get it out of the way and set up an uncluttered classroom that is bright, airy and well organized because not only does it benefit you but the students. The students function and feel better about being in the classroom. So, no regrets, get it all in the box and move on with your teaching!

You don't know how many times I want to re-organzie and declutter teacher classrooms. Clutter idetracts from the end goal of providing an environment which is conducive to learning. Order, aesthetics, and organization are excellent skills to impart onto students. Spring cleaning has arrived!
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Old 03-04-2017, 03:27 AM
 
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I would definitely tidy up, and I would try to talk to a friend of hers who is still there about helping you. -

1. If anything is misplaced, it won't look like you took it.
2. You will have help deciding what to do with papers.
3. She might actually want her friend to bring the personal items to her now.

In general, I would:
- box the personal items for safety (either in closet or with friend)
- put all the scattered pens in a coffee can or something
- sort through the papers as best I could and put them in a file crate

You need space to work, and I'm sure the regular teacher would want you to feel comfortable. She probably feels bad about having to leave her students and would be supportive of things that help you take over smoothly for their sake.
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