Don’t you just love school supplies? The blank notebooks, pencils fresh from the package, and crayons without a scratch all arranged carefully in a desk. It makes you just want to get to work and start filling them with stories and lessons. As a classroom teacher we spend time getting the backpacks unpacked and stowed away in various parts around our rooms. If we’re not careful these hidden supplies can multiply and before we know it we have some amazing results.
Two years ago I was moving into a team member’s room and he told me, “I’m all moved out except I have one more cabinet with a couple rolls of paper towel. Set those aside and I’ll get them later. “ As I began to move into his room, I found the cabinet with paper towel. I pulled a couple rolls out and saw that the cabinet went deeper and I kept pulling more rolls out. 24 rolls later, I had enough paper towels to stock a grocery store. When my teammate came by for his paper towels we had a laugh to see how many he had squirreled away in a cabinet. He didn’t need to have paper towels on his school supplies list for a couple of years.
After years of teaching we can collect some pretty amazing piles of school supplies. It’s in our nature to hoard supplies, because as teachers we have all gone without. However, when we open up our cabinets at the beginning or end of the year and we find we have fifty of something, it may be time to take the risk and give a few away.
(In the comments below, please tell me of some of the treasures you have found tucked away in your classroom.)