Throughout my teaching career, I have been notorious for a messy desk. It's not that I LIKE a messy desk; it's just that I like having things near at hand when I need them, and I usually need a multitude of things during the school day.
Copies of syllabi, pacing schedules, attendance rosters, planning forms for students, lists of user names and passwords, attendance cards, tardy slips, signed parent information forms, gradesheets, the list goes on and on.
Below is a picture of my desk on the second day of pre-planning. That's not unusual. I ALWAYS start off the year with a clean desk. I have to clean everything off for the summer school teacher, so it's pretty bare when I start the year.
It rarely lasts more than a day or two. Pretty soon students are laughing about the disaster area that is my desk and swearing that I've lost an assignment or three. (For the record I've never LOST an assignment. Sometimes it takes a while to FIND it, but I've never actually LOST one. Trust me, I have a filing cabinet drawer full of projects and assignments.......some from six years ago, when I taught at A DIFFERENT SCHOOL.)
That's why I find it almost inconceivable that the picture below was taken this afternoon, after THREE COMPLETE WEEKS of school.
The file folders you see next to the printer are for the students in my advisement group. I have filed their signed forms in folders (alphabetical, of course), and I can immediately see who has turned them in and who hasn't. My advisement notebook is in order, complete with transcripts and up-to-date planning forms.
If you look very closely, just to the left of the printer, there is a bobblehead figure of Monk. That is no accident. Lawanda the Warrior Princess gave it to me, because she and I have discussed some of our Monkish tendencies.
I offer the photo below in the spirit of full disclosure, readily acknowledging that I TEND TO BECOME OBSESSIVE about things, ridiculous things.
These are my attendance cards. Your eyes do not deceive you; I do indeed have a student named Mercedes. In fact, I have TWO students named Mercedes, and one Porsha. I swear I'm not making this up.
Notice that each period has a different colored clamp. No big deal. What is a little disturbing is that their placement on each stack of cards is staggered.
Lord. Help. Me.
In a rather weak defense of such obvious mental instability, I will say that if the clamps were all in the same place, they wouldn't fit very nicely in the slots of this little wooden file-card-holder-thingie. I'm still struggling with the fact that there are two slots and I have 5 stacks of cards.
I have been obsessive these three weeks about getting things OFF my desk. That forces me to deal with things immediately, filing them or (usually) giving them to someone else. It has been imperative at the end of the day that my desk be spotless.
If only I could transfer some of that to my house.
Check with me at mid-term for a clean desk update.