Inconsiderate of Those Who Come Behind

Yesterday I wrote about my experience in Scouts. Today, I can’t think of a better way to start this post then one of the lesser-known mottos of the organization; “Leave it cleaner than you found it.”

That’s what I did. When the school year ended in June, I left the class in impeccable condition. I put all the classroom resources together in labeled boxes. I cleaned out my desk and filing cabinet completely. I didn’t leave any garbage or useless materials behind.

Whatever teacher inherits my old classroom will have an easy time seeing what resources are there. They will be able to unpack them in any way that they see fit. And they will be able to set up the class to whatever specifications they prefer.

This is how it should be. Teachers need to be considerate of those who come behind them.

Unfortunately when I walked into my new classroom this week, I was met with a disorganized mess.

I spent most of this week just cleaning up. I’ve thrown out three garbage bags worth of junk that was left behind. I’ve spent hours going through the cupboards trying to locate and organize the resources. They were everywhere and in no order whatsoever.

Cleaning the blackboard was the hardest job. For some reason, the previous teacher had marked permanent lines in yellow all the way across the long board at the front of the room. It looked horrible and would extremely limit what I could do with the board. Needless to say, it had to come off. I had to use rubbing alcohol and really scrub to get it off. It took me over two hours to do so. I even lost some of the skin on my thumb in the process.

And I’m not even done yet. I will probably have to spend another four or five hours just cleaning and organizing my room. It’s ridiculous.

I just want to move in and get organized, do some planning, and get ready for the school year. Classes start in two weeks. I’ve still got a lot of work to do before then.

I just wish teachers would have some consideration for those who come behind them, and leave their rooms cleaner than they found it. I know that I will do that again at the end of this school year, even if I will be returning to the same room. It’s just the right thing to do.