I spent 8 hours in my classroom today, packing up.
I learned a few things that I hadn’t anticipated.
- I really do have my kids do a lot of the work of packing up. They organize a lot of things. They make sure things are all together that should be. They gradually take things home. Doing it without them is a lot more work.
- It wasn’t as emotional as I had feared. There was too much work for me to slow down and think about how much I miss these kids.
- I really, really, really miss these kids. They were finishing up a nonfiction writing project and I put all of their notes and drafts and nearly finished work in the bags for them. It was amazing to me that nearly two months later I could remember the topics they had chosen for research. Lots of different animals, of course. My favorite was the one on the history of chicken parmesan.
- I definitely got more done today than I usually could manage in one day. Maybe being all alone (except for occasional physical-distanced conversations with a few colleagues) is good for my focus. Or having a hard deadline…that I totally didn’t make. I’ll be back another day to finish, sadly.
- I have lots and lots of books.
That’s the majority of my classroom library packed into the cabinets in my classroom. I figured books weigh a lot so packing them in the cabinets would be better than putting them in boxes the custodians would have to move out and back in. There are four boxes of books right now. Plus the full-sized bookcase in my teaching space is still full. And I’ve got several bags full of books at home that I’ve been using for teaching these days.
None of the packing I did today (or will do on another day) is well organized. Normally I would pack my classroom library in a way that would set us up for organizing it together in the fall. Today it got stored away more by book size than anything else. That hurts a little.
So, I miss the kids and my stuff is a mess but I’m in a better place than I anticipated. It could be worse.