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Cleaning my classroom
Old 01-10-2015, 08:19 AM
 
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I have submitted my letter of intent to retire so it is official. I am of course very excited about it on one hand, but not looking forward to cleaning out my classroom. I have until June but have been daydreaming about it . Where did you even start with deciding what to toss and what to keep/take?
Obviously anything purchased with school funds stays (may be tricky with the classroom library...) but I envision myself not being able to part with some things, thinking maybe I will have a use for them. I have no children, but do have my special children's books that I just love. Maybe I would use them if I volunteer. I am also hoping to work part time as an interventionist if funding is found, so I might need things. Apologies for the long post, but my DH may not appreciate me filling our basement with tubs of school stuff (and I do not want to be carting home unnecessary things)!


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This was me at this time last year!
Old 01-10-2015, 08:29 AM
 
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First I had to accept the fact that the other teachers really didn't want my stuff! They wanted things, things like my long arm stapler, shelving units, electric pencil sharpeners, things like that. I became ruthless, tossing all my teaching stuff! It really started to feel good! I kept telling myself that if I ever needed any of it again, just about everything I was tossing could be found, new and improved, on the internet. I did know the teacher who was taking my place and I left all my books for her.
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Stuff
Old 01-10-2015, 09:38 AM
 
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I still have "stuff" in my garage and I've been retired for four years
Luckily I was able to send many of my good books to my grandchildren as they grew into them. I sold a huge number of books to an organization down in Mexico for their bi-lingual program, gave many boxes of books and other teaching materials to Goodwill, gave a lot of teacher books to a new teacher,but after all that I still have "stuff."

My advice to you is to keep some of your favorite books but give the rest away at your school. I gave each of my students a box of books that had been stamped "discarded" over the many years but that I had kept because they were perfectly good. I knew that my students most likely had zero books at home.

Throw away files as you go. Nobody wants those. Every week dump the stuff you no longer need, so by June you won't be stuck with "stuff" like I was

I'm STILL sorting through boxes. My resolution for this year is to have an empty garage!
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I knew in Sept.
Old 01-10-2015, 10:24 AM
 
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that this would be my last year. I will teach all the units for Sept. then dump all the files and other things right in the trash.
The only things that I am having problems with are the plastic drawer units, bookcases that are mine and the hundreds of children's books.
Maybe let other teachers take what they want, but if a new teacher replaces me I feel that maybe she needs them more than the veteran teachers. Decisions, decisions!
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Old 01-10-2015, 10:33 AM
 
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Don't do what I did which was bring it all home!!! You will hate yourself for it. I ended up letting a new teacher come and get half of it. I found most of the young teachers didn't really want many of my teaching materials. They are all digital these days. What was treasure to me was not to them! As my daughter told me... they want to make all their own stuff.

Throw away or set out for others to go through. What they don't get, then throw away.

As six months of retirement came this year, I realized none of it held the same value to me as it once did.

The only thing I have ended up keeping were books that I thought I would want to read to grandchildren, and two small tubs of things...one was stuff that I made a scrapbook out of and the other was a small tub of things that I had really put my heart and soul into with teaching and that I was kind of known for...mainly my space materials. It will most likely sit in a closet never to be looked at.

The stuff that I threw away --- at first -emotional meltdown at the dumpster, I later felt liberated, but it took about a month.


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Old 01-10-2015, 10:38 AM
 
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Thanks for the tips! I currently have a student teacher, but only for two more weeks. I think I will do some heavy purging beginning on Monday. I know that a lot of the things in my files even I don't use anymore! The books will be hard though.
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Good advice!
Old 01-10-2015, 11:17 AM
 
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Some good suggestions here! I gave away tons of things, selecting many to keep because, like you, I might need them in my future plans. Hindsight is 20-20 though.

Start now giving away everything you can. Take comfort in knowing that these things will be used (if something is hard to part with, make note of who you gave it to, then you could still have access if you really have regrets).

Those boxes you pack to store at home will sit and sit. Your most precious resources never used by anyone at all, until they are either ruined or useless to you. I just listed a few more things to Amazon. I wish I had donated the lot of my professional resource books to the school library. All I could think of at the time was how much money I had spent.

Be uber generous to your student teacher too! Maybe her friends would like to have some of your resources as well.

I found with the pushes and pressures in education today, my fellow teachers were not even interested in acquiring ANYTHING new, let alone my dated stuff. Fabulous professional resources were left in a heap after letting the entire staff pick through my goodies.

Finally I started emptying drawers, closets, cupboards and shelves in the biggest purge of my life. It was freeing to me and I think marked the beginning of my transition into retirement.

This whole thing is a transition, you know. You will take baby steps and pass through land mines and road blocks. When you walk out that door... you want to feel as light as you can. IMO
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personal challenge
Old 01-10-2015, 12:22 PM
 
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My personal challenge was to walk out my last day of teaching/end of the year with only my purse.

... and yes, that's just what I did!

Keeping that challenge to myself in mind, I threw away items at the end of every unit. I sectioned off part of the teacher closet for items purchased with the school's funds. I gave the rest to a teacher who be starting to teach in the fall.

I did start out keeping about 10 of my favorite books, but ended keeping only my favorite one.

Getting rid of "stuff" was like "becoming "free from all the stress."
My advice would be do NOT bring it home.

The interventionists that were hired in my district were given all the materials needed when hired.... they did not bring their own materials. They followed district guidelines/lessons especially planned/developed for the students, so you might not need to save any of your items, if that is the case in your district!

Have fun reaching your goal of taking care of all of your classroom items!
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getting rid of stuff
Old 01-10-2015, 01:22 PM
 
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I agree with the other posters. Nobody values your stuff like you do. That's because you have memories attached from using your stuff with your classes. Letting go of your stuff doesn't mean letting go of your memories. I suggest taking photos of some things you want to remember. Much easier storage that way.
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I think that if you teach early primary
Old 01-10-2015, 03:21 PM
 
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you will find you are not allowed to use your old units and art materials anyway. I look at the great patterns that the kids used in the winter that went with units and know I can't let them do that anymore. So, I just purge and don't look back.

The new teachers may want my bookshelves and many of my great books but everything else they get from pinterest and TPT.


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Tough Decisions
Old 01-10-2015, 05:19 PM
 
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I know how scary it is since we spend our whole career hoarding stuff we might use some day. . . . bit as PPers have suggested:
1) teach a unit and then toss anything that you KNOW deep down in your heart YOU will not want for a TRUE reason (like to give to a grandchild or nephew/niece)
2) If there is something that might be useful to someone on site, and I agree, mostly kids' books, long-arm staplers and such -- then start putting them out in the work room with a sign "Free to a Good Home"
3) Raffle off books, watercolor pencils, boxes of stuff, stickers, prizes --- you know all that STUFF--to kids. Let them take it home and then either use it or let THEIR parents purge
4) I promise it gets easier. Once you toss that big fat file of Pumpkin activities in October, suddenly the Thanksgiving stuff is easier, the December holiday stuff is even easier, etc. Then you actually look forward to teaching ML King and tossing it without looking back.
5) If you have a friend still teaching, or better yet a student teacher at your school, they may want some of your best stuff. I put out stuff on a table in my room every Thursday from 3:00 - 3:30 and let the staff know they could come and help themselves from that table. That way it's not too much mayhem.
6) Donate and get tax receipts if you feel you want/need to. So many homeless shelters, children's wards in hospital, etc could use books
7) THINK about WHERE you will store whatever you bring home. This may be incentive enough to keep about 3 boxes total and just get rid of the rest!

Good luck and enjoy each day as it comes. Lighten your load and know you have 99.5% chance of NEVER even cracking open the boxes you do save. . . .
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Old 01-10-2015, 08:08 PM
 
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I tossed everything from my room that was not directly tied to the current curriculum. The cupboards were almost empty and very neat. My files were empty. I took a small box of books for my grandchild. All the mugs and small teacher gifts were popped in my dumpster bfore I entered my house. I took my memoris home. That's all I needed.
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Old 01-10-2015, 08:32 PM
 
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All I saved were some of my favorite books! I do return to my school once a month and read to the K and 1st grade classes and I enjoy that!

Nancy
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So smart to start NOW!
Old 01-10-2015, 08:44 PM
 
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I had files and materials from several other dear retired teachers that I seldom (or NEVER) used. That made me realize the younger teachers really don't want or need my stuff! I didn't start getting rid of materials until the end of the school year was near. (MAYBE A MISTAKE!) I just wanted to focus on my last class and enjoy. After the last teaching day I gave my precious stuff to my favorite teammates. I gave most of my relevant stuff to the teacher replacing me. I put out many of my other materials, teaching texts, idea books, seasonal decorations & posters in the hall and sent an email to the staff to come get them! FREE!! They were gone within 24 hours! I gave my classroom book collection (and it was extensive) to the teacher taking my place. I saved a pile of special books for a potential grandchild. (which I now have!) I recycled all of the papers in my files, but I saved the file folders for a teacher who wanted them. I walked out of my school with a few small boxes. And that is my story!
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special books
Old 01-11-2015, 06:55 AM
 
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Hard lesson learned:

Save only these things- favorite books for grandchildren

a few art supplies and crafts if they belong to you.

Most younger teachers just want new...
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Only keep books special to you.
Old 01-11-2015, 09:40 AM
 
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Give everything else away. You will not need it where you are going. Congratulations and good luck.
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My story
Old 01-11-2015, 04:13 PM
 
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I kept very little and never think of it. Weird. Welcome!
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Old 01-11-2015, 05:54 PM
 
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I've got 5 years until I can retire. I'm thinking that if I start on those cabinets now, I could be ready to walk out with just my purse on May 29, 2020. Shoot! I still have stuff that belonged to the teacher that I replaced 17 years ago!

That settles it....I'm starting on those cabinets!
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Stuff
Old 01-12-2015, 08:12 AM
 
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During the year before I retired, I gave away tons of personal stuff to fellow teachers and students. I also sold things, mainly books, through the on line group... teachersbargainbasement dot com. I mailed them in discarded Scholastic book order boxes and made about $3000. Time consuming, but worth it.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:10 AM
 
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Like you, I started cleaning out in Jan or Feb prior to retiring. I kept about 2-3 boxes of picture books to read to future grandchildren. Other than that, the only thing I kept was my red stapler. You will never need anything else trust us. I found that young teachers dont want old outdated stuff unless you are giving away chapter books which are in great condition. Give away your math games and manipulatives to a newbie that wants that stuff. I made many, many trips to the school dumpster instead of bringing home junk to fill up my own garbage can. My hubs is like yours so he happily helped me give the stuff away. Start now because its easier to do a little at a time. Good luck and welcome to the club!
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