This summer I switched between two schools, and had to pack and haul all of my teaching supplies that were mine personally over to another school. If anyone has done this (especially an art teacher) you know what I mean when I say “Where did all this stuff come from!”
Today I am sharing some insight on paring down your teaching supplies, so you only keep the most helpful things to you as you move, change positions, or try to pair down in your existing space as the walls start closing in on you because you have too much “Stuff.”
First, I would suggest going through your files and getting rid of any lesson you haven’t taught in 5 years. It may seem ruthless, but unless that lesson is something you KNOW you will teach again, why are you keeping it around? There are so many great new ideas on Pinterest, and if you really want to teach the lesson again someday I bet you can remember the basics. The file is just cluttering up your lesson that are winners.
Next, my mantra when sorting was this “If I can get the information online, I don’t need to keep the flier, handout, article.” This was so hard. Every piece of information I had saved seemed so valuable, but a one page information sheet on Pablo Picasso was just taking up space in my files. I can google him and find out the same information to put into a power point for my students, or to make a poster for the wall.
Lastly, digitize. I have so many art samples, even some from when I was growing up. I kept this huge box of samples to show the kids, but over time my samples are getting dingy and ruined. My goal in the next few months (we’ll see how I do) is to digitize all of my samples into photographs to put into Power Points or on my computer. I will keep the best ones to hang on the wall, but for the most part I like to keep a simple, decluttered space, and don’t hang a ton on the walls as far as samples go (plus sometimes showing too many samples can make students feel intimidated).
My sister told me: If you are thinking really hard and debating if you should get rid of something, then you should probably get rid of it. You’ll never miss it. Boy was she SO right. It’s a great feeling.
I was pleased to pare down 7 boxes into to 2 rolling files and one box. I feel like a “Clutter Free Teacher” now!
What do you tend to hang on to when it comes to teaching supplies?
What is the hardest stuff to let go?