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Lazy co-worker
Old 06-09-2016, 08:11 AM
 
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So, here I am venting/complaining about my co-worker I share the classroom with. Go ahead and shame me. In any event, in our classroom each of us has a desk, a teacher's desk! yay! However, my desk, not hers, is used every day by students in afterschool. I am fine with that except it is left in a super disgusting state: juice stains, splatters of unknown origin, spittles, you name it. Thank god for Clorox wipes. I wipe my desk every morning. However, the co-worker, having used her desk for months now, have not cleaned in in as long! I occasionally go by it and see how disgusting it is. It has inches of dust, months' old spills of sorts. Now she is using a student desk to eat lunch at! I am in disbelief. Is it just me, or how hard is it to clean your own desk? OMG, vent is done, I gotta go back to sit through another few hours of pointless the most boring PD ever.


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Old 06-09-2016, 09:32 AM
 
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Not your circus, not your monkeys. She's making a choice. It may not be the choice you would make, but it's a choice.

I would be complaining to someone about kids using your desk and leaving it in such a condition. That's unacceptable. It's a teacher's desk and as such, kids shouldn't have access to it.
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Old 06-09-2016, 10:14 AM
 
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I agree completely with GG. And there is no way I would tolerate daycare in my classroom--assuming that's what afterschool is.

Also, people are gross.
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Old 06-09-2016, 11:05 AM
 
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I'm sorry you're dealing with all this. I would not tolerate an after school program leaving my desk a mess. You need to talk to the adult who supervises the kids and make it clear that your desk is off limits. I would also report this to the administration.

Your coworker's desk isn't your problem. Not your circus, not your monkeys.
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Old 06-09-2016, 11:09 AM
 
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I wouldn't care if a coworker kept her desk a mess, but I sure as heck would mind if MY desk was being used by someone else.


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Old 06-09-2016, 11:22 AM
 
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You probably can't control that they have afterschool duties in your room, but you should be able to control the use of your desk. I would let the person in charge that my desk was off limit during that time. They could have access to all the other areas, but the teacher's desk should be a kid free zone. I don't even let my classroom kids be at my desk. Do you have to clear your desk off every night? That would get on my nerves! As for your coworker, unless she is expecting you to clean it, don't sweat it. She will clean it when it bothers her enough. Maybe.
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Old 06-09-2016, 12:53 PM
 
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You probably can't control that they have afterschool duties in your room, but you should be able to control the use of your desk.
Really? Does this happen other places? It would never ever fly in my school. No way daycare would take place in a classroom.

Also, K12ESL, I'm sorry about the PD. That's the WORST!
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Maybe it's just me, but...
Old 06-09-2016, 01:15 PM
 
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I don't see how your colleague's messy desk is your problem, or your business at all. Her disorganized work environment will catch up to her eventually (and it sounds like it already has, based on her decision to eat lunch elsewhere). One day, she won't be able to find an important paper, or something will be ruined. That will be on HER, not you. I don't understand why it bothers you so much…?
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Teacher Desk
Old 06-09-2016, 01:59 PM
 
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I agree that your desk is your personal area and is off limits for these kids. I would certainly address it with the After School Group and make my expectations very clear.

The other desk would drive me crazy, too - but like the others said, "Not your circus..." Just, "Let it Go!" (Why don't they use her desk since it's already a mess??)
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Old 06-09-2016, 03:16 PM
 
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Detach from the idea that her messy area is your responsibility. Don't look and don't acknowledge it. Focus on the neat and tidy areas that are in your area. Life is too difficult to feel responsible for things that are out of our control Thank God that you are to like her.


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Old 06-09-2016, 03:39 PM
 
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For those wondering about allowing other programming in the classrooms, I have never had veto power over that in 2 very different states under 2 very different administrations. The school is a public building and can be used as such. My classroom has been used as rental space during both school-provided and for-profit after school programming and weekend programming like camps and churches in both places. Sometimes we know about it ahead of time, sometimes we don't. There is no option to say no to this, it's not actually *my* room, I just happen to work in that space.

That being said, I leave pleasant but firm notes on the whiteboard to the kids with specifics (please do not touch ___, you are welcome to sit ___, please wipe spills and put up chairs, etc.) and report any problems to the director of the programming so they can handle it. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. I lock a lot of stuff in my cabinets and I have put caution tape around my library before
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Old 06-09-2016, 04:03 PM
 
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Not trying to shame you, but I'm puzzled why you feel the need to primarily vent about your coworker and not about the fact that after school kids are using your desk to eat at! I couldn't care less about the coworker's desk being messy- wouldn't affect me, but I'd be livid about kids using my desk.

I understand that the room isn't "yours" and your district uses it for after school programs. I've been in that situation before. I did have boundaries about what kids were and were not allowed to do and sitting at my desk was a definite no-no.

I would complain about this situation to the person who is actually in charge of these kids. If they don't fix it, complain to their supervisor. Take photos of the mess each time. I actually have roped off a whole section of my room (it included my desk) when it's been used after school. There was no reason at all for kids to be in that area. I'd suggest you do the same. It helps them to have a visual barrier.
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Old 06-09-2016, 04:24 PM
 
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I would be so frustrated in your shoes! At both problems.

I have a space that is shared with the teacher next door. He's fantastic and we get along great, but our ideas of organization and neatness are VERY different. I have learned to ignore his corner of "our" world, or clean it myself. I know he will never clean (or keep it clean) it to my liking, and there's no reason to let that irritate me because I'm the only one it negatively affects. When it gets to the point that I am getting consistently frustrated with it I just go clean it up myself and then I feel much better!
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Old 06-09-2016, 04:33 PM
 
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I actually did speak to the admin and the supervising adults a few times (like 3-4 times!) about the room being left a mess: desks dirty with spills, books all over the place (most of which are mine from my own classroom library), and other student materials. Guess what? Nothing ever happened. The supervising adults I referred to earlier I would not even call adults, they are barely out of high school that have no clear purpose in life as to what they actually want to do. I spoke to them on numerous occasions and all they say was OK, OK, OK, OK, I understand, I will. The afterschool, to be honest, is a joke. Students color pages in the fifth grade, listen to music on YouTube and share inappropriate gossips. After speaking to them 3-4 times I felt like I was just wasting my breath.

And as far as my co-worker's disgusting desk goes I am an OCD and I just cannot stand when there is such a major inconvenience in my classroom. I call it mine, because to be honest all year round I have put blood and sweat into making it a welcoming and nurturing environment for the kids to feel safe and respected. All the learning materials that adorn the walls, all the charts, and everything else you will see is done and kept pristine by me alone. The co-worker is pretty much just occupies the corner in the classroom and uses it as a storage for her belongings. And before anyone jumps on my back about me monopolizing the room, in September on the very first day I was forthcoming about sharing ideas as to how we best can manage the classroom space. She was nonchalant and said: "whatever, all I need is this desk." In any event, I guess your are all right, this should not bother me. I guess I have to learn to deal with this.
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Here is the pic
Old 06-10-2016, 04:10 AM
 
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here is the pic.
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Old 06-10-2016, 04:52 AM
 
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In the past when I've had that problem, I have the first student in the door place a wipe on each desk. When the kids arrive, they wipe their own desk (oddly, they love this) and throw the wipe away.

If it would make you feel better, wipe the other teacher desk with a Lysol wipe when you wipe off your desk. It's a 10-second solution. Focus on what you can control. You either have to take the 10 seconds to wipe it off, or you have to let it go.
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Yuck, Wipe That Off
Old 06-10-2016, 05:37 AM
 
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I would just clean that myself! First of all, I have shared rooms before and hated it! I shared with two friends. One was neater than me and one was sloppier. I get I am somewhere in the middle. However, in the last few years, I feel myself getting more and more OCD. Meaning, I bust out the Clorox wipes in class and disinfect everything at times.

I've also had a bunch of roommates in my life. One of my old friends was a neat freak and used to clean our rooms in college. She loved to clean. She asked first. Personally, I loved it and became a neater person because of her. I would just say to the co-worker, "Hey, you know I am super OCD, can I wipe off that desk? It is driving me insane." I would say it in a nice way like it is more about you than her and with a smile.

As to the after school program in your room, I have been there, too. I would put a sign that say, "Private-Do Not Use" and then pile my desk with stuff so it can't be used. , I have a lot of stuff so my desk is covered anyway.

I think that sharing any space is hard. Hang in there!
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Old 06-10-2016, 06:42 AM
 
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Is that the dirty desk? I don't think it is too bad.

Sometimes I work at my desk for ages and then one day I notice how discusting it is. Maybe your coworker is like that. Wouldn't bother me if someone wiped it for me, so just wipe the thing off.

Seems like a pretty petty thing to complain about honestly. I agree with others that the kids using my desk and leaving it dirty would be much more distressing to me. I do understand though, that sometimes it is the little things that break us.
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Old 06-10-2016, 03:44 PM
 
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That is gross. And I get it why you need to vent. You have to look at it everyday and it bothers you. She should be taking care of her work space.
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Old 06-10-2016, 05:09 PM
 
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I always tell kids to look for solutions to their problems, and so I'll suggest the same to you. This one seems to have a really easy solution. Like others have suggested, you could wipe down her desk with a wipe every so often. No, you shouldn't need to do it, but it'll hardly take any time at all and you'll feel better so it's worth your time.
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Old 06-10-2016, 08:18 PM
 
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I would stay after school one day and sit at my desk. I would then take a minute and tell the students that this is your personal space and they are not to use your desk. I would also let them know they needed to clean up after themselves. I would do this until they learned that you are monitering what they are doing and that they need to be more responsible.
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Klara beat me to it..lol
Old 06-11-2016, 07:48 PM
 
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I have been witness to some of the messes after school programs can leave. ( Some are really bad.) I would make my workday start a bit later and stay later instead until the after school workers paid attention. The mess leaving would change too because the students and after school worker would want me to leave after I gave my expectation speeches and watched what was going on in there. Kids tend to behave better with teachers in the room. ( They'd probably prefer to get back to misbehaving. I think I'd even have a coworker friend come in too as a witness in case anything I said was misunderstood by the after school people. I'd make it known my desk is off limits. As for your roommates desk, I would stop looking at it if it bothers you. I do not think you should mess w/ someone's desk. It is their private work area. I am thinking the picture you posted is of your desk after the kids drank/ ate there. I'd be irked if someone left stains like that on my desk.
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Old 06-13-2016, 04:31 AM
 
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No, that picture is of my co-worker's desk. Why would I post a picture of my own desk and say it belongs to my co-worker? I do not appreciate a hint that I may be lying.
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Old 06-13-2016, 06:17 AM
 
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I don't think Summerwillcom was intimating you are lying; I think it was confusion over whether that picture is of the dirty co-worker's desk or the mess left on your desk. I wasn't sure myself.
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EC - Thanks! You are right!
Old 06-13-2016, 01:18 PM
 
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K12- I saw the picture and assumed (I know..lol) that it was the mess they left on your desk. ( There was a ring like a drink had spilled and grunge like old glue on it.) That is close to what I have seen done when an after school program was held in classrooms. Add some glitter, markers, and crumbs and it'd be even more like the messes I have seen. It seems the more focused we get on what we do not like about someone else, the harder it is to focus on ourselves. We can't change others, but we can change the way we view our world.
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