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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Teaching Well: Spring Cleaning

I'm not exactly sure why, but this year has required more classroom cleaning than ever before. I think it's because our classes are big; we have a lot of teachers; we host classroom lunches quite regularly; and we use a lot of materials when we teach. Hence there's a lot going on in somewhat small spaces, and that results in the need for frequent cleaning.

Also as our shared model evolves it becomes clear that some tools of old are no longer necessary, while new tools require different kinds of organization. So Monday I'll do a couple of hours of spring cleaning (the same spring cleaning I'll do a bit of at home today). Last Sunday, I heard that our school was filled with teachers doing the same. There isn't much time during the school day for this kind of cleaning work so many teachers go in on the weekends to do the work.

I'm not a big fan of being in the schoolhouse on the weekend because it's usually cold, dark, and lonely, but a good dose of spring cleaning will brighten the room and energize me for four weeks of dedicated standards study by students in the weeks ahead.

I'm also feeling that "throw it out" mood which means it will be easier to part with well-loved materials and tools that I no longer use.

The younger the students you teach, often the more cleaning that's involved. The same is true in your home--there's a lot more cleaning to do when you have a home full of young children than later when your home is filled with older people.

It's always good to seize the moment when the cleaning bug hits, and it's great when this spirit arises well before hot weather arrives. Many say that to be an elementary school teacher is to be a "jack of all trades" and one of those trades, for better or worse, is classroom cleaning.

Note due to family needs, I switched the spring cleaning to a Monday, not Sunday as originally planned.