Thursday, August 8, 2013

A hoarding culture

There's a weird phenomenon that occurs in the field of education; I've seen it in almost every level and in different regions.  Ya'll are some serious scavenging pack rats.  I mean that lovingly, as I too was once a pack rat.  I've learned that not every toilet paper tube needs to be saved and that I can get new crayons, they don't need to be stored up high, out of reach, so as not to be "used."

I am currently in the process of converting a toddler/two classroom into a preschool classroom and have pretty much finished.  There are still some items like manipulatives and puzzles that need to be put into storage so they can be rotated during the program year for new and exciting opportunities.  They are sitting on the tables in the classroom and I plan to store them next week.  A teacher just approached me and asked, "What you gonna do with those puzzles and books that came out of our room?"  She mentioned she's been taking things from the classroom to use.  I'm all for sharing.  Sharing is caring, right?  But when it means that this classroom is being stripped of materials, I'm a little... upset.  Classrooms need to have a certain number of each material to maintain licensing standards.  Sharing typically means asking the other person (in this case, the director -- me) while scavenging means you're swoopin' in and taking materials that are not developmentally appropriate for your children while no one is looking.

Funds are tight.  We will never have Smartboards in our classrooms or be paid millions.  But I promise there will always be new crayons, paper, and markers available -- stop hoarding them.

Sometimes when I watch that show, Hoarders, I think of teachers.  I wonder if there are classrooms that need to go through such a process.  I mean, I hope there are no dead cats or tens years worth of newspapers in your classroom, but something tells me there are probably materials in your room I would find you hovered over while chanting, "My precious."  Am I wrong?

Didn't think so.


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