One of the things I like best about teaching is that it’s MY DOMAIN. I get to run the show. And sure, this makes me a total control freak, but whatever. I’ve accepted the fact that I really, really like things to go my way. In my classroom, this doesn’t manifest itself so much with the kids as it does with my organization. Curriculum is in crates by quarter. Each specific unit gets a carefully organized binder with it’s contents organized in sheet protectors. I use a lot of post-its and clip boards and binder clips and I just like things a certain way, OK? Teaching is overwhelming at times—so much to grade and do and organize and plan, and even when work is over, I have a million things I could be doing. Even over the summer. So, I try and keep on top of it the best I know how: with totally militant levels of organization.
My students are currently working on a research paper, for which I compiled a perfect binder of sources, graphic organizers and other necessary items. Students were given their own packets to work in and all seemed right with the world.
Until this morning.
I was wandering the classroom, talking to students and helping them organize their work. I turned my eyes back to where my desk is and saw a student holding MY MASTER BINDER OF RESEARCH. He was flipping through pages until he slowly removed something and started to retreat back to his desk.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” I bellowed. The kid froze and tried to shove the article back into the plastic cover, BENDING IT COMPLETELY, and muttered an excuse about needing a sheet…looking for…ahhh.
He returned to his desk and I fixed the binder. Once I started breathing regularly, a student I absolutely adore came up to me.
“You OK, Miss E?” she asked.
“Yep, I’m fine…” I said. “Just…like things organized!”
She looked at me with the most serious expression I’ve ever seen her normally cheerful face have.
“Have you ever considered the possibility that you have like, OCD or might be a little crazy or something?”
I cracked up and assured her that yep, it’s been considered and confirmed. She laughed, too.
And once again, I’m reminded how much I love my kids.