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Teachers are hoarders.

Alright, I said it. That’s a step I needed to take. To admit that when it comes to my classroom (and let’s be honest, my books too), I am a hoarder. However, I’ve noticed that I am not alone in this. I have an entire building of people who are just like me…they too hoard.

So how did I come to notice this? (I know it’s not really a new revelation.) I came to this realization recently because in my building, almost every single one of the teachers, staff, administration, etc., are moving rooms for next year. My school is fortunate enough to be seeing some (a lot!) of changes for next year, and that has included living through construction all year. We are expanding our building and preparing to see the freshman come up to the high school to be with the sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

So as I said, teachers are hoarders. We have all been forced to go through years of collecting. But why do we keep all of these things? I think because at the core of it, we’re all a bunch of softies…yes, even the high school teachers are softies. We love to keep the pictures we get from students. We love to have the thank you notes and the handwritten messages that we acquire over the years. It’s nice to take those out and read them when some of the days get rough. We like to have, in our hands, that we can influence a student in a positive way.

We also like to be super prepared. We have years’ worth of materials. When we move into a classroom that once belonged to someone else who also taught that subject, we keep everything that is left there. Why? Because we never know when we might use it. We want to look back at what activities were done before and try to incorporate that into the lessons that we teach. I still have binders upon binders of units that I planned from my previous high school, because you just never know when you might need that information, right???

Moving rooms, actually moving whole departments, has allowed for us to also take a look at the things we do have and notice the things that we still need to get to help our classrooms and our students. This has been a great opportunity to laugh at ourselves and wonder when in the world are we going to watch those VHS tapes again? Are we really going to use the transparency paper in the same room as an Apple TV? It’s fun to see where we’ve been while also looking ahead at where we’re going.

So I’ve come to realize, teachers aren’t just hoarders…we’re memory keepers.