Mary Poppins not only was excellent with children and their parents, but she also had that magic bag. You know, the one she pulled a floor lamp out of while her charges stared in wonder? Yes. I would like to have that bag. (Cleaning a room with the wave of my finger while singing like Julie Andrews wouldn't be bad either, but why get greedy?)
Yesterday was the first day we were allowed back into our classrooms although Monday is our first official teacher workday. Hyped up on a large amount of coffee I went into school to get a start on organizing my desk (and ok, catching up on gossip, because let's be honest, catching up with people takes a good 80% of back-to-school time.)
So I slid my desk and my bookshelf where I think they will go in my kindergarten classroom and got to work organizing everything I'd thrown in boxes at the end of the year. Normally I try to be a bit more on top of it when packing up my things, but apparently last June I had little patience for anything.
After a good hour of staring at my boxes and then staring at my desk and my bookshelf wondering how on earth I was going to make everything fit, I grabbed my keys are headed to Staples for drawer units. $50 later I was back in the same spot in the room, staring at my boxes, my desk, my bookshelf and my new drawer units wondering how on earth I'm suppose to get everything to fit.
Because my desk is in a kindergarten classroom every inch of space is valuable and I don't want to take up anymore valuable floor room than I need to. The last two years I've done a lot with under the desk storage, but after awhile it ends up with me not having any leg room under the desk, and also means I spend mornings crawling under the desk to reach my supply of Velcro strips, stress balls, etc. This year I was determined not to let that happen again. *please note the use of was*
I'm not hoarding- I swear. After a long summer of watching all kinds of reality TV (have you seen Animal Hoarders???) I was sure there were things I could throw away (and there were) yet, there is still a lot I need to have at my finger tips in order to do my job, that just somehow isn't fitting into the desk,bookshelf, or new drawer units.
-Therapeutic stress bands- not an everyday use, but when we need them, we need them. And usually it's not something where I'm like, "hmmm, let's try that tomorrow", it's, "wow, that kid is really wound up. Let's see if we can calm him down by letting him use a stress band." Hence why I need easy-access.
-Stress balls. See above
-Weighted vest- See above
-Velcro and magnetic strips- Used for putting together behavior plans, individual schedules, securing supplies on a table for a child who has difficulty with fine-motor skills.
-Small stuffed animals- used in daily one-on-one work with kids ("The bear wants to eat the /p/ sound. Can you feed him the /p/ sound?)
-Highlighting tape, cover up tape, lots of fancy sharpies- interactive writing and shared reading
-Sidewalk chalk- used in good weather for children to practice their letters, prompt story retells in pictures, or practicing word wall words.
-Massive amounts of professional books- constantly referred to get ideas, answer my questions, answer other teachers' questions, remind myself that I'm doing the right thing.
The list could go on.
So you see, if I could just access that Mary Poppins magical power of keeping all my belongings in one carpet bag so that I can have that at my finger tips, my teaching life would improve dramatically. Or even a slightly more stylish bag, but I wont get too greedy.
So until I figure out how to gain this magical power it's back to the under-desk storage for me...