For many teachers, spring cleaning happens in the summer while we’re “off” school. This year I decided to not only clean, but to do a purge of all those items I’ve been keeping around thinking that I might use someday. I had things in my kitchen that I couldn’t remember the last time I used them!

Once I got rid of all the excess, I had lots of room in my cupboards and now things are organized and easy to find. It got me thinking… I have to do the same with my school supplies. The only way I am going to get my office organized and keep it that way is to be “ruthless” when filtering through everything.

I’ve been teaching for 12 years. Every year I throw out old notes, tests and assignments, but I also keep a copy of anything I think I will use again. Little by little, the filing cabinets get full. Do I really need notes from a course that I taught 10 years ago? Even if I taught the course again, would I use the same teaching methods, notes and tests?

Every year we learn about new tools and activities to use in our classrooms. Time to evaluate our methods, get rid of the ones that don’t work for our students and make room for the new ones that do. Time to purge!