I have to confess that I am mesmerized by commercials from the Container Store, which moved into town a couple of months ago. Now we are delighted by visions of the perfectly organized home – canisters of cereal and pasta all neatly aligned on the pantry shelves. It’s a thing of perfect symmetry and beauty. It looks nothing like my pantry, which is strangely organized by the meal into which the food item is most likely to fall. (This interesting scheme was my daughter’s brainchild a few years ago and I haven’t changed it because the quirkiness of it is a reflection of her. I like that she doesn’t see the world in exactly the same way as everyone else.) Neither does this picture of perfect symmetry look at all like the cabinets in my classroom. The shelves in the cabinet are are filled with inexpensive containers from Target and re-purposed containers from Trader Joe’s full of all things mathy. Despite my best efforts, they do not stack perfectly into a thing of beauty because they were not designed to do so. The top shelf of the cabinet houses two giant salad bowls that I have turned into reaping balls for a Hunger Games simulation in our probability unit. Somehow, these bowls manage to topple out onto my head when I open the cabinet about fifty percent of the time.
If I were a person who believes in New Year’s resolutions, one of mine would probably be to re-organize these cabinets in a slightly more sane way I could purchase nice stacking containers and organize everything into them, finishing off with a nice label. The finished product would be lovely, but it would take more money and time than I am willing to spend. Instead, I will spend the money on books to add to my teaching library and my class library, on puzzles to challenge my students, and materials that bring STEM into my classroom (replacement parts for my motorized toy project, android devices for use coding apps, and robotics). I will spend my time trying to plan better lessons and making materials for my students to use. So, there will be no New Year’s resolution to “get better organized”.
Perhaps that perfectly organized cabinet will come together in May or June when school is out for the summer. More likely, though, I won’t get to it. I will be busy preparing for the STEM camp for girls at which I teach in June. I’m also pondering the possibility of creating a summer coding club for girls if I can convince the school to let me use the library for meetings…..
I think that perfectly organized cabinet is likely to just remain a pipe dream for the foreseeable future.