I love it when things are organized and in rows! And if you add labels then I love it even more. But, to me, what’s even better than those organized, labeled rows is the mess that has to first be created in order to achieve such a level of pristine neatness. That’s right, I love tearing everything out of closets, cupboards, drawers, basements or anywhere that “stuff” exists. I love picking through the stuff, throwing things away, donating things and then organizing the left over items so they all have a proper place. Oh and of course after everything is sorted, I get to go find new things to fill up the empty space!
My love of messes makes being a principal the perfect career choice for me. Think of all of the messes we get to encounter every day. Now, most of them are not created by our choosing, but some of them are. Right now, our kindergarten, first, second grade teachers and me are voluntarily making a mess. The “closet” we’re cleaning out is our word study practices and boy are we messy! We’ve analyzed data, recognized deficit areas and started digging in to sort through the things that need thrown away or put back into the closet. And, we’re shopping for new things to fill in the empty space.
Think about it like this: What would happen if you never cleaned out your closet? I’m sure there would lots of things that are no longer in style and things that no longer fit (too big, of course). And, eventually, your closet would be so full that you would no longer have room to add anything new and you’d have to stay satisfied with the outdated and ill-fitting things you had in it. It’s the same for our educational practices. We need to continue to take inventory on the work we do. We need to look at current trend data and ensure that the things in our educational “closets” are working for our current needs. When they’re not, then we need to start cleaning out.
I challenge you to think about things that are in your educational “closet”. Do they still fit? Is there a need that you are unable to address because you need to clean out and make room for something new? Take inventory and make a mess! You’ll be happy with the result.