I moved from the middle school classroom to the university classrooms about 5 1/2 years ago.  It was a strange move from owned to shared space.  My middle school classroom reflected me and what/how I taught.  I had my classroom library (huge) with a rug, bean bags, and walls of book-filled bookcases.  I had my lamps and my plants.  This was a cozy learning space!  When I left, I gave away many of my books.  It was right that books landed in hands that would use them — fellow language arts teachers and students.  My office at the university is small.  And since my time is divided between there and the classrooms in which I teacher…well, I guess it’s only moderately personalized.  A few framed photos of my grand daughter, some nicknacks from my past middle school life.  Staying organized either at home or work is always a balance between my need for some aesthetic sense of neatness and my equal need to get my hands on what I use most right away.  Most of the time the hands-on me wins this battle, depressing and antagonizing the neat me.

I have moved to being such a digital, paper-free educator, that for the most part the organization challenges are digital.  And even those challenges are diminishing with cloud-based storage.  I remember too well those days I panicked that I didn’t have my thumb drive with me with THAT document.  Then I moved to digital writing space and I spent an inordinate amount of time creating folders and deciding which file needed to be in which folder.  I think those were my PC days.  I’m a Mac girl now and just save the darn file to the cloud where we will be blissfully, easily reunited — THAT document and me.


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