Sunday, June 4, 2017

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 35

 As an art teacher and a human, I find that there are many things I struggle with: consistency, finishing projects before starting new ones and, most of all, organization. I like to think that my decent art teacherin' qualities outweigh the bad but there is no denying this...I'm an Art Teacher Hoarder. And one of these days, my cold and colorfully dressed body is probably going to be found under a mountain of toilet paper tubes, bottle caps, yogurt lids, wire hangers and gently used popsicle sticks ("Why was she saving THOSE?!"). They say the first step is admitting you have a problem, y'all. There, I've said it. Now what?
Like a tour of my space, would you? Here you go! Just watch your step...I've just about boobytrapped the entire space. One of two things inevitably happens when I walk into my storage closet: I get injured by one of the art supply landmines I've haphazardly thrown on the floor or I find some amazing treasure, get a fun idea for a project and completely forget why I entered the storage closet in the first place. 
 I had a group of fourth grade girls who decided to make my art room their hang out place every morning the last month of school. It was fun, like our own secret art club. They'd come in, take out whatever they felt like working on (sewing pillows, painting a poster, you name it) and create for a solid 20 minutes before the bell would ring. I didn't mind, I was just making coffee and enjoying their company and love for creating. One day I opened my closet in front of them and it was like the door to Narnia opened before their eyes: they were amazed. Not only by the mess but by the sheer volume of stuff. I let them raid the closet for fabric several times...not that you can even tell. They hardly put a dent in the place. 
 With so many art teachers lacking supplies and space, I'm embarrassed to show just how much I've got and the large space I have to store it. I am super fortunate for the donations that I receive and the closets I have to store them in. I'm telling you, my art room (along with the closets) is what got me so determined to land the job at my school. I literally stalked the former art teacher for two years to get the job (she's a friend who was retiring). I'm not even kidding: I went to her art shows, helped in her art room, observed her. When it came time for my interview, the principal and staff already knew who I was (probably because of the restraining order). All that to say, I know I'm spoiled rotten. And I'm every bit of that spoiled kid who has the messiest toy box on the planet. All this I know. 
This is why it's part of my summer routine to pop in to my art room for a couple of hours once or twice a week to start chipping away. I really and truly do want to start my new school year feeling organized and ready to roll...not chaotic like I usually do. I'll keep you posted on my progress. In the meantime, can I interest any of you all in a 5 lbs box of chopsticks that may or may not be used? 
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21 comments:

  1. my soul sista!!!! my closet is affectionately known as 'the black hole'! Lots of teachers retiring giving me oodles of stuff and my stuff piled on top! I have been cleaning like a tornado since I have grades on class trips-and this year, I WILL BE ORGANIZED!! (well, at least for the first two months of school!) I feel your pain!! Organization is always on my PDP!! Thanks for keeping it real!

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    1. I have this lovely idea that I'm going to get organized. It happens every August and every January, like clockwork. In fact, when I was putting together a binder of my schedule, my PE teacher buddy was like, "you KNOW you are NEVER going to use that!" And she was right, I literally made it and shelved it. Just discovered it all dusty and unused when I went in this week!

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  2. Yes mine resembles an occupational health hazard too!!! Found my desk last week but you guessed it where did the stuff from the desk go !! My question is would you use kids to help clean it up?? I admit I have been at my school now for nearly 20 years and there are a few younger art teachers in the district asking when I am going to retire ! It won't be long but not letting them into that secret just yet!!

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    1. Ha, why are they asking you?! 20 years, shoot, you still got 20 years left in ya! (haha!!). Yeah...I thought about having the kids do it...but I was actually too afraid something would fall on their heads. Better that happen to me...knock some sense in to me, perhaps ;0)

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  3. My storage room is 14 years of stuff and looks very much like yours. I think it is because we are creative right-brained artists. Logical people are probably more organized from the beginning. 🙂 Sounds good anyway. I plan to at least TRY to get mine organized over summer break. Good luck today us all!

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    1. That's my plan too...but I really truly think that some folks are just gifted with the organized gene. I've always been a collector of stuff, even as a kid. I just love my stuff...you could call me stuffy ;)

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  4. I feel your pain!!! I've been in my current spot for 5 years and I just purged and organized this year. I had 3 shelves, 3'x10', of just fabric alone!!! My breaking point was when I needed to put out musical background boards away and I couldn't reach the back of my closet anymore... I spent the last 2 weeks of school having students help sort, purge, and make endless trips to the dumpster for me. I paid them in supplies. As they sorted, they got to keep anything I didn't want!! Hopefully they will put their summer break to good crafting, and I can see the floor in my closet again!! Good Luck!!

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    1. great idea!! I need to get me some OCD parent volunteers or kiddos to crack the code on my Hot Mess of a Closet!

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  5. I see a support group in the making right here!

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    1. Yes! Let's get together and not organize ;)

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  6. I feel your pain! My closets (got 2 of them) were stuffed. Then I had to clean them out mid year because they were putting new tile in and moving everything out of the closets. I had to have everything in boxes, while still teaching and getting ready for an art display at the fair. Thank goodness my husband came to the rescue. He plowed through the mess, at my direction, and he is Mr. throwaway. I got rid of some and organized everything. It was hard but we got it all done.I actually know where everything is, well, some. I have had a few months to add back to it.

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    1. I really need to do that...but going in over the summer is so super hard! I have Netflixin' to doooooo!

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  7. Omg! That's why I LOVE you so much! You get it!!! I'm just like that! I had 2 coworkers (PE coach and librarian) that gave up 10 hours of their Memorial Day to help me organize- and now all I have to do is label the cabinets - I'm interested to see if my next year goes smoother? We shall see! Thank you for pointing out that we art teachers are much the same!

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    1. Wow, that was so super nice of them! I know your year will go smoother, I'm inspired!

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  8. "Creativity is messy, and I am creative" Nuff said!! :D

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    1. I think you might be an enabler. For that, I thank you ;)

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  9. These pics are priceless, right down to your expressions! They kind of remind me of my craft room . . .

    I love your outfit, especially the belt. It's got a real Frida Kahlo vibe :)

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    1. Thanks! It's the face only a mother could love... ;)

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  10. Right there with you. I spend a good week each beginning of summer on organizing. This year I started with "the beast." My paper/storage room. The last two years I've had to share my drawer of construction paper and my 3' paper cutter with two other teachers. I teach part time in the middle of the day so as to get my elementary little off and home from school. You can imagine what that storage area looked like on various days of collecting work to grade!
    I'm almost 1/3 done. Hope to finish by the end of the week. I even bought a label maker to get me excited about reorganizing!!!

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    1. OMG, no sharing! If anyone saw the state of my closets, they'd report me! Good luck getting it organized :) You got this! As for me...well, we'll see ;)

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Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate each and every one :)