I envy the teacher whose “stuff” is well labeled. My husband (also a teacher) and I invested in 30 sturdy plastic bins about 7 years ago. Stupidly, they were not clear bins. The first year we packed them to move classrooms (it was the year I was moving from ESL/Music to Primary ELC, I think), I took pains to neatly label each bin: “Intermediate novel studies”, “Vera’s desk”, “Medieval Times Unit”, “Poetry Overheads” and so on. In subsequent years, moves became sometimes hectic, last minute affairs, punctuated by the arrival of twins at times, and at others, clouded by the uncertainty of a return to this or that particular classroom or grade. Many treasures were given away in haste, at the time, a deceptively simple solution to cleaning out one’s classroom when time was at a premium at the end of June. Over time, other mismatched and unlabled bins were added to the increasingly ecclectic collection.
In September 2011, I return to a classroom. Grade 3 is on the roster. I need my dayplan magnets, several early settler novels and a bunch of organizational stuff. But the “novels” bin seems to now be housing a bunch of science equipment, and my Pioneers unit seems to have been mysteriously replaced with an unmarked bin (at the bottom of a pile of several back-breakingly heavy boxes) containing a bunch of outdated math workbooks and two recorders!
Happily, I did find a few other treasures in the storage locker to appease me: Some picturebooks I thought had been lost, a few binders from my teachers’ college days, a set of cuisinaire rods…. And best of all, the seat to the drum throne I had started to unpack on my last trip to the music cabin in PEI appeared, and is now safely sitting atop the “PEI” pile in the closet.
The teacher's storage locker (garage/shed/attic). It can be full of frustration, but contains many, many treasures!