Are All Teachers Hoarders?

Teachers are collectors, packrats, hoarders. Whatever you want to call it. We all have boxes of bulletin board supplies, sharpies, crayons, stickers, books cluttering up our closets. Pull open a drawer and about 20 different colors of highlighters will fall out.  File folders are full of fantastic lessons.  We even max out computer memories.

Sale! Did someone mention the word Sale? All anyone needs to do to make a quick buck is post the word Sale on a teacher site and they will come running. After all... I might need that for a lesson. Dollar stores are the best thing since sliced bread... to a teacher. We can browse for hours. Up and down the aisles. Dreaming up uses for all of those sentence strips, cute cut-outs, and colorful letters. As if our rooms are colorful enough!

And somehow all of this 'stuff' finds its way into our homes. This is when we stick the overflow, that we might need next year, onto shelves in the garage or attic. And there it sits, year after year, not doing anybody any good. But... we can't get rid of it. We might need it one day.

All of this is well and good. To a point. Then the day of reckoning comes. The stuff has to go. Time to find a new home or a dumpster. The agony is almost unbearable. Why do we find it so hard to let go of that favorite bulletin board design or set of books that our students really loved? I can't answer that. As I write this I have garage shelves full of items that have not seen the light of day since I retired from teaching full time.  I keep telling myself that these are still good teaching materials. They have merit. They might be useful to someone.

 I've gone through four garage sales and many of my items have found new life, but I have yet to find that 'someone' that I can entrust with my most treasured teaching resources.  Makes no sense. Time to clean it out. And, yet somehow I keep pushing that job to the end of my agenda.

All all teachers hoarders? Maybe not. Maybe its just me. Maybe this January would be a good time to do some 'spring cleaning'. And, then again, maybe not.



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