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unwanted stuff in cabinets
Old 07-23-2017, 10:03 AM
 
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Since this is the VENT - I'm going to write my frustrations and see if any one has comments.

I'm retired but I volunteer and sub. There is one teacher, a former colleague who loves my help. For the past few years I have gone into school before the pre-planning and set up her room. It has been first grade and this year kindergarten. The Principal moves people A LOT and so this teacher has been very grateful for my help since it means unpacking everything before putting it all away, and then setting up not to mention decorating. This year she was moved again! I went to her classroom last week and discovered that the previous teacher was 2nd Grade but moving to 4th. She left all the curriculum materials and other STUFF in the cabinets and on shelves. I cannot begin to tell you how many books, etc. but I spent about 3 hours one day and 3 hours the next moving all this stuff into boxes, taping and labeling it. It is now near the classroom door and ready to be moved. I have talked to the Head Custodian and she says she has nowhere to put it but will talk to administration.

I just can't get my head around how a teacher would do this to another teacher and how she justifies it in her brain. I helped pack my former colleagues room and left all the cabinets, shelves empty and clean. I met the teacher who is moving in there and she was very appreciative.

I will not be saying one thing to this teacher when I see her. I am not confrontational anyway but if I did say something it would be - "how could you have done this!!!!!" Thank goodness Ms.X has ME to help her. Oh well.


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Old 07-23-2017, 11:04 AM
 
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I find it incredibly rude and disrespectful.

My first year teaching I was in a room and the teacher retired. Every cabinet and drawer was dull. I threw out books from the 60's before I could even begin moving my stuff in. It took forever. The 4th grade teacher did the same thing a few years later. Apparently the rules about checking out and making sure all your stuff is out only applies to certain people.
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Stuff
Old 07-23-2017, 11:19 AM
 
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When I started at my last school, the cupboards were full of old Stuff! Previous teacher had left angry, and just walked away. Uggh! I made sure to clean everything out when I retired.
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Old 07-23-2017, 11:25 AM
 
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In my school curriculum items would go to the whom ever issues books an materials.
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Old 07-23-2017, 11:59 AM
 
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My first year in 4/5 at a new school, the previous teacher had gone out on maternity leave (undefined time, but at least a year, so it wasn't a sub job- she left the position) and I was hired as a teacher in that classroom. The classes were in a portable and each room had two large cabinets. In my room, she left one entire cabinet crammed with her crap. And a lot of it really was crap. One shelf was a actually filled with family pictures of previous students' families. Turns out she had requested those for an activity of some sort and never returned them. They were framed, personal pictures! Since I wasn't sure if she'd come back to that classroom the next year, I put all the other crap she left in various places around the room and shoved them all into that same cabinet and locked it and never touched it. She also left a file cabinet full of materials. I used some, but not very many.

As it turns out, she did come back the next year, but went to a different position (but back to her room). I kept 4/5 but got a new classroom. The four years I taught in that school, I had a new room each time. My third or fourth year, I ended up in a classroom that had some stuff under the sink in a cabinet. By stuff, I mean thousands upon thousands of cockroaches! Living roaches. It was the most disgusting site! Turns out that teacher said she never used that cabinet. It was absolutely appalling.


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Old 07-23-2017, 12:16 PM
 
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I was once chastised on here for suggesting cleaning out rooms after I complained about moving into a room so full of stuff I couldn't move my own stuff in. I spent many hours that year moving stuff around so I could fit my own in. After school got out I threw a ton of stuff out! Stuff a hoarder might want, but nothing I could use. I just went through a bit more of it and plan on getting rid of even more when school starts up. I have decided stuff I haven't used in 4 years shouldn't hurt me to get rid of, should it?

I still have baggies from when the teacher was there. I have given baggies to new teachers, specials, other teachers.... I finally got the baggie cupboard down to a manageable amount and my co teacher to agree we don't need to ask for baggies this year. I have taken baggies home (and returned with paper towels or something else needed).

Why is it so hard to get rid of things? . I still have some things that for some reason I can't get rid of even though I haven't used them. Colored sand, for one. I imagine she did some sort of sand art thing for Native American studies. No way am I pulling out colored sand for kids to glue on pictures. . But I haven't thrown it away either.
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Old 07-23-2017, 12:22 PM
 
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A new teacher started at our school and a bunch of us helped her set up because it was a last minute hire. I was embarrassed because a retired colleague had left tons of her junk in the room! I think she thought she was being helpful, that the new teacher could use all the stuff. But honestly...what is someone going to do with a calendar that is missing October and March?

Another colleague retired several years ago and it took her SO long to clean out her room...SO SO long! I have since decided that I will clean out my cupboards regularly so when I am at the end of my career, I will not have so much stuff. This year I got rid of several "theme' boxes...it was very freeing!!

Last edited by Ally; 07-23-2017 at 02:22 PM..
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Ugh
Old 07-23-2017, 12:41 PM
 
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You are a good friend to help. I'm retired too and wouldn't enjoy being involved with teachers' moves.

A few times I moved into classrooms that were full of junk left by the previous teachers. I threw lots of stuff out so I would have room for my supplies.

I never had a lot of extra items when I was teaching. At the end of each school year I got rid of things I never used. It made things much simpler when I retired.

Last edited by travelingfar; 07-23-2017 at 04:38 PM..
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I'm with Ally
Old 07-23-2017, 12:41 PM
 
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As a speech therapist, I only have a small room, but I've started cleaning stuff out. I figure I'll be leaving within 2-7 years (depending on health) and don't want to have to deal with it all during my last year. If I haven't used it in the last few years and it doesn't belong to the school, out it goes.
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Anything personal should go
Old 07-23-2017, 12:49 PM
 
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...but if I were moving rooms or leaving my school, I would leave everything that belonged to the school there. I'd leave textbooks, extra workbooks, teachers editions, manipulatives, calendar math kit, and a whole shelf of title one purchased supplies and manipulatives. If the school paid for it, it would stay.

And if the school was changing the grade level for that classroom, I would expect the school to pack it up and move it to the new classroom or to the bookroom.

I'd still be hauling plenty of stuff out, but I don't think curriculum and other school stuff is my responsibility, other than to leave it neat and organized.


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Thank you!
Old 07-23-2017, 12:54 PM
 
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I love all your responses! I'm starting to see that teachers do tend to amass a lot of materials much of which they never use! I can see an idea brewing on the minimalist theme!
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Old 07-23-2017, 01:41 PM
 
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I am not there yet, but sometimes I look around at all the stuff and think "What do I do with this when I retire?" Things like baskets that I purchased with my own $$$. I don't need them at home, not sure if a new teacher would want them. You know those Sterilite drawers? I have lots of those. I purchased them...I would not want them to be tossed because they do not meet the organization of a new teacher...the list goes on and on.

Yes, I've purchased many things. My philosophy is if it makes MY life easier, then I am OK with it. It if is just "cute" then I really have to think about it. I try to keep it in check. My teammate refuses to spend her personal money on ANYTHING and I get that too. (another vent)

We had a teacher retire this year and she went through everything. I don't know she through anything out, but she got it organized and had new teachers come and check out what they needed. It was very hard on her. She had her feelings hurt because the new teacher did not want/need any of the books she was leaving behind. I learned what an emotional rollercoaster retiring can be.

I guess I can just hope I do the right thing at the time.
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Old 07-23-2017, 02:03 PM
 
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I moved into a classroom where a 30 year teacher retired and basically just tossed his keys in the office and walked out the door. Leaving curriculum is obviously a must, but the cabinets full of worksheets? Nope. I know that when I retire I'm just going to take them straight to the recycle. What new teacher will have time to go through them all to see if s/he wants them? If I know who will take my place I'll ask them if they want my class library books, and if not I'll box them up and sprinkle them throughout little free libraries all over the city. Everything else will either go with me or in the garbage. I'm not going to do that to another teacher.
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Old 07-23-2017, 02:11 PM
 
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When leaving the school/position/retiring, we sell our belongings that we paid for with our own money.

An email is sent out to staff, fb notices sent out, and we have a local fb page for teachers to buy/sell their resources at tard sale prices. That way you can atleast recoup something of what you put out.

My friend retired this past year and left everything there in the room for the new teacher. It was not touched one bit by the new teacher.

I packed up all my belongings that I did not sell. I left items that belong to the school or the SPED unit I worked in. I left all the student supplies that were not used. I labeled everything for the new teacher so they would know what it was and what to do with it. The only thing that I left that was mine were games for the kids fun friday.
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Old 07-23-2017, 02:46 PM
 
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These responses are so interesting. When I started eons ago, nothing was
left by the teacher who had retired. Not a wall alphabet, pencil, piece of chalk, etc. I was shocked and so disheartened because I didn't know where to start. I did not have any classroom books for a library. I am one who would have appreciated some things left behind for me to decide if I wanted them or not.

When I go, it's expected to leave all materials purchased by the school in addition to manuals, computers, etc. I will throw out my worksheets and items I created and use for holidays or curricular related items.
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Old 07-23-2017, 05:33 PM
 
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Quote:
I am one who would have appreciated some things left behind for me to decide if I wanted them or not.
. I completely understand this, and think that is what people should think about when leaving a room. You don't need to get rid of every office supply, every piece of paper, and all your organizational stuff. But a room should not be so full that a person moving in can't even find things!

I appreciate a lot of what my last retiring teacher left in the room. Grade level books, sets of book organized with activities and worksheets, games, those plastic drawer shelves in good condition.... But the file cabinet full of old papers, boxes with book/supplies from the 70's, old craft supplies not organized and just stuff. It really is too time consuming to go through.

The first teacher I took over from actually ending up retiring unexpectedly due to health issues. No joke that she had been in this room for close to 30 years and had lived in the room. Really. Her house had no running water so she spent a lot of time at school. You can't imagine the piles of stuff. There was very little even to save. Stacks of extra copies 4 feet high. No organization. No tubs or crates. Just piles of papers and assorted stuff. It was crazy. Room was the closest to the dumpster, though!
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Old 07-23-2017, 05:40 PM
 
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My first position was taking over a classroom for a teacher who died.
It was my first job. While i was sorry she died, I really appreciated things that were left.

Yes, there were things that were left that needed to be thrown away. But, there was lots that was useful and I was glad to have it.
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Old 07-23-2017, 10:20 PM
 
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I've worked in 3 different schools and in all 3 cases the room had a lot of stuff in it when I moved in. Although I did have to spend a ton of time purging and cleaning/organizing, there were also useful items that I was grateful for. I'd honestly rather have that then a totally empty room!

When I left my last school, the AP that checked us out at the end of the year wanted absolutely nothing other than curriculum materials in the cabinet. She wanted me to throw out brand new supplies like unopened packets of loose leaf paper, glue sticks, etc. because it "wasn't fair to the new teacher to not have a totally empty room." I ended up boxing it all up and taking it with me!
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Old 07-24-2017, 04:40 AM
 
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I also find it very disrespectful. I would put all the boxes inside her classroom since it's her stuff. You don't have to be confrontational. It's hers - no explanation needed. It wasn't your job to box it up, so you did her a huge favor. Now it's up to her to find a spot for it.

We had 10 people switching classrooms around this year, and the P sent out an email that said do NOT leave anything in your room unless you talk to the other person and she wants it. That solved that problem.

You're very kind to help out! I would love to have someone help me organize. I'm going in this morning to unbox and organize.
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Full rooms.
Old 07-31-2017, 05:07 AM
 
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This has happened to me twice. Once the teacher moved to a new position in the same school but left all of her junk in the room. I had absolutely NO space for anything of mine. Plus it was a disorganized mess! I asked her to come get stuff she wanted because I needed some room. She didn't because in her opinion I could use all of the stuff. I had to talk to the principal who favored that teacher, but said I could pack up what I didn't want and put it on a big cart. So I had to spend every second I could doing that, then clean and organize the rest, then I could put my stuff in. We had only 1 partial day in our schedule for our rooms. We had to leave when the janitors did. Not much time, plus I had to prepare lessons. The principal acted as I caused the problem.
In another school a teacher was on a year-long leave and they didn't know if she was coming back or not. I got another stuffed filled room. It was up to the ceilings in the back of the room!!! The teacher next door said that they could not hardly get into the room before. Same problem with very limited time to set up. The principal didn't care that it was left there either. I had to clean it, box it up and had to take it to a janitors' room and stack it all up. This took all of my time. I had to leave some of the mess until after school started. About one month later I was all set up. This shouldn't ever be allowed or left up to the incoming teacher to do by herself!!!!!
Plus my commute was an hour each way.
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