Wednesday, April 8, 2015

From the desk of Susan Heydt....

I can always count on Albert Einstein to have my back.  Those who know me well know that the organization of my desk represents the randomness of my teaching.  In addition to graded and ungraded papers, it's filled with "fiddlers" to play with while thinking, squishy balls to relieve stress, funny cartoons shared by students and colleagues, and a whole lot of Big Bang Theory characters in the form of decks of cards, bobbleheads, and action figures.

More than a few of my colleagues -- and more fastidious students -- raise an eyebrow at the apparent cluttered environment in which I work.  My friends, I am here to share the wonderful hidden benefit of such a motivational organizational system.

Memory Walk.

Tonight, Donegal High School will be hosting the annual IU 13 Convention.  Apparently this is a BIG deal, that is bestowed upon the newest (or most recently renovated) school in the area, as what I can only imagine is like an old southern Belle of the Ball party to introduce the new digs to all the people in the area.  

The spit shining and decorating has been going on for weeks.  Display cabinets have been rearranged, the valedictorian pictures have been hung, and the  trophies have been polished.  
...and I sprayed windex on my floor and danced around on some paper towels to collect some spots that didn't disappear with simple mopping. 

I've spent the last couple of weeks chasing after students who use my room for storage of a variety of things.  I already have a unique collection of items on my shelves, including a rotting apple in a bell jar, that may or may not be noticed by the anticipated visiting dignitaries.  By late last week, everything was off the floor, and one student had scaled the cabinets to clear off the offending items from the tops, unearthing treasures from the last three years that had been abandoned up there.

Today was the day to tackle my area.  We don't have desks -- we have a built-in area that is supposed to serve as a desk, which requires that the teachers sit with their back to the class when sitting at their computers.  (Definitely a flaw in the design that was corrected before the renovations of the other two buildings, which now feature desks that are in full view of classes...)  Most of the teachers adopt the single table we've been allotted and use that as their desk space. 

As I left my room today, the desks were carefully aligned, the blinds were set at "just the right height,' and the whiteboards were sparkling.  And my desk area?  

Undeniably gorgeous.  Dusted, decluttered, a thing of beauty.  It hasn't been this clean since August when I unpacked everything on the first day of the new year.  Clearing off my desk was akin to Christmas -- or a kid digging to the bottom of his toybox to discover some old friends to play with.  

So tomorrow, when the shindig is over, I have my newly-discovered articles that I've gathered since September that I wanted to "save for later."  (I guess tomorrow is LATER!)  I unearthed "evidence" of my effectiveness as a teacher to share at my end of the year evaluation meeting that needs to be filed, and little notes from parents and students to be filed in my happy file.

Just think.  If' I would have filed all that so-called clutter when I first got it, today would not have been such a glorious day of discovery.

And Sheldon, Leonard, Raj, Howard and Penny will be making me smile all over again tomorrow, bobbing their little heads at me.

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