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Cheering Thought

I've been feeling quite discouraged as I rummage through box after box of papers and books and stuff. I'm starting to clean out my junk room (see disgraceful image here), and it turns out that the substrata of this vast dumping ground is composed largely of the boxes and stacks of papers that teachers seem prone to accumulate.

I've spent a number of hours now sorting through papers, saving usable worksheets and items suitable for making lesson-appropriate copy masters, and of course in the process holding on to a quantity of items which "might come in useful." This makes for slow progress, and it feels as though I end up with nearly the same amount of stuff after I'm done that I started with.

I just, however, had a somewhat cheering thought. Our school is gradually moving toward more computerization, and finally most of the classrooms are equipped with digital projectors. What this means is, since I also have access to an electronic "Student Response System," once I get my stuff organized, and once I learn to use the Student Response System, I shall be able to scan or otherwise enter the data from all this paper and conduct many of my lessons in a paperless environment! Plus, having invested from my own pocket in typing tutor software, I hope to have the students keyboarding with sufficient proficiency that they may complete their written work on the computer.

For our handwriting practice, no joke, I started having the kids write in Moleskine kraft-paper cahiers. With fountain pens.

My cheering thought, then, is that over the next few months, I should be able to create a virtually paperless classroom system which meets the needs of "21st century digital learners" while reducing, as one of my correspondents so eloquently put it, the "Feng Shui nightmare" which currently plagues my life.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 18th, 2008 06:51 am (UTC)
For our handwriting practice, no joke, I started having the kids write in Moleskine kraft-paper cahiers. With fountain pens.

That is glorious. You are conditioning part of the new generation of Hawaiian retro-fetishistic youngsters. I do hope that you will keep this system once you implement the paperless classroom.
Aug. 19th, 2008 01:54 am (UTC)
You have good cause to be doubly pleased: following your lead, I had them decorate the covers using glue and glitter!
Aug. 18th, 2008 04:05 pm (UTC)
(note: this is my "lift the horse's tail and look at the situation" icon, not a "you're a horse's arse" icon)

I'm impressed with the fountain pen/Moleskine idea, too.

Some thoughts about your most recent cleaning project. From your new set of photos, I have a new idea for you to consider . . . to re-think your attitude to the Room of Doom, and really contemplate how the RofD right now is burdened with the double duty as "Tiki room" and "Mini-warehouse." [insert gentle and compassionate font here] Right now it doesn't seem to be fulfilling either role effectively. I'm not being funny or cruel here . . . but really, you are a collector and it's time to embrace the title and believe it's nothing to be ashamed of. It's impossible to organize a museum collection, though, without the kind of organizational materials you see curators use behind the scenes in museums and supply houses: file cabinets, many drawers of different sizes, wall organizational materials, shelves, etc. Last year I think I suggested uniform-sized boxes along the walls. I'm thinking that you may need more shelving units, free-standing, for another "aisle" of boxes.

It would be nice if the Tiki room didn't have to be sacrificed for this purpose. Is there another place where you could either build/renovate, to create a supply room/mini-warehouse elsewhere on your property? (I realize humidity is a concern outside).

Hope I'm not out of line suggesting this . . . please keep in mind this is offered sympathetically, (& mostly comes from a combo of general impressions after seeing your photos over the past ~2 years and attitudes developed over time with my own struggle with clutter, both my own and other people's).
Aug. 19th, 2008 01:59 am (UTC)
"... over the past ~2 years...."

:: sigh ::

Your suggestions are sound, and indeed, are in full accord with my own ideas... or hopes... or far-fetched fantasies. It will be possible to bring order to the disorder, as long as I apply myself consistently to the task.

Interestingly, it was also proffered by a "real life" person that I should consider "changing my thinking" in regard to this room. Through both revised thinking and a regular focus on organizing, perhaps some progress will occur.

I hope it won't take another two years.

Thanx for the input!
Aug. 19th, 2008 03:27 am (UTC)
(aside) Hope the ~2 years remark didn't come across as impatient or insensitive. (As you may or may not have seen on Plurk, I've been like a bull in a china shop today).
Aug. 19th, 2008 06:13 am (UTC)
Of course it didn't!

I like to think we're sufficiently acquainted by this point to pick up on the intended inflection, even via text!

Besides, impatient & insensitive could be my middle names, if I had two middle names!

And quite honestly, the two-year remark made me laugh out loud!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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