So, I'm a 4th grade teacher and the worst thing about teaching is having to pack up your classroom at the end of the year for various reasons - to move to another room, to switch grade levels, to have it thoroughly cleaned, etc. Regardless of the reason, this is a real nightmare.
This year though, I am packing to leave the general education classroom to be a math support teacher where I will share a much smaller room with another person who is even more organized and afraid of "stuff" than I am. So today, as I was about to begin packing, I very suddenly and very simply realized that I COULD NOT BE BOTHERED with all the STUFF!
Wanna guess what I did?
I started drawing names and asking kids to pick things from the classroom they might want. That's right - I pulled a name out of a bin and that kid got to ask for something in the classroom that was not purchased by the school and in most cases, he/she got the response: "Take it, its yours, and take this to go with it."
The kids told me they felt like it was Christmas or a free yard sale and that it was possibly the best day of the year. Kids!
We drew names until every child was chosen 3 times and on some turns they didn't just get one thing, but a bin, basket or bag full of things! At the end of the day kids were walking out to the buses with plaques that read World's Best Teacher, with homemade board games, bags full of fabric, decorative plastic apples and Christmas decorations.
If I ever go back to the traditional classroom, I am really going to wish I had this stuff, but right now I just wish I could hear the dinner conversations tonight as one student tries to explain why he brought home an old "Time Out" bench or another makes a case for keeping the wicker basket full of old cards and magnets.