So you probably read the title of this post and are thinking I’m crazy. How can you take lessons learned from living in an RV and relate them to teaching? It may seem a little far-fetched, but I promise – making full-time RV life manageable is not very different from making your second home, I mean classroom, work best for you and your students.
Wants vs. Needs
The first lesson I learned happened VERY quickly. While packing for our first deployment, we had no idea how long we would be away. Unfortunately, you can’t pack an entire 1,800 square foot house into a 35-foot-long RV. It just doesn’t work that way. (Believe me, I probably would have if I could.) I was forced to really evaluate what we NEEDED and what we really LOVED. For example, I now LOVE my RV wardrobe. I have a small closet (probably fitting 30-40 hangers MAX) and a basket for folded clothes. There is nothing in there that I don’t absolutely love and want to wear every single day. Now, I can’t say that for my home’s closet and am seriously debating having a major purge ASAP.
Having to narrow down my closet to the things I loved most really showed me what I don’t need or miss. So often, we hold onto things “just in case” and then “just in case” never comes up! If you do this at home, I can almost guarantee you do the same thing in your classroom. Teachers are notorious for hoarding – you just never know when you’re going to need those empty toilet paper rolls and googly eyes! However, all that hoarding for “just in case” causes so much clutter that we begin to lose sight of the things we really need for our students to be most successful.
If you think you might need to reevaluate the items in your classroom, take a look at the list below of areas that easily become a hoarder’s paradise. On your next classroom work day (do those even exist anymore???) or maybe one day over the break, spend some time in your room to get things tossed out. It will be well worth the extra work for the rest of the school year!
Areas of Clutter in the Classroom
– Teacher’s desk
– Stations/Centers (This was my weakness! Give me alllllllll the center activities!)
– Leftover school supplies
– Guided Reading/Math materials
– Paper scraps (Yep, I was “that” teacher.)
– Filing Cabinets
– Leftover classroom party supplies