June 1, 2012

Boxes, Packing Tape, and Where's My Sanity?

Oh I know, it's probably shoved into an altogether too small cardboard box in between some paperback novels, index cards, and unifix cubes...That's right, you guessed it folks.  I spent my day today knee deep in the dreaded job of packing my classroom.  After my first year teaching, I complained about having to clean out the room, cover book shelves and bulletin boards with butcher paper, and cram all of my "stuff" into cabinets and closets.  I LONG for a job that simple right now!!!
Last year's "packed" classroom (aka bookshelves covered with paper...)
Since I am moving schools next year, I was faced with the GIGANTIC task of packing every single item from my classroom into cardboard boxes and garbage bags.  Those of you who are not teachers may not understand the hugeness of this undertaking.  It's just one room, right?  HAH.  Let me paint you a little picture.  There are well over 1,000 books in my library.  I have at least 50 storage bins and crates, of course of a variety of shapes and sizes so they can't even be stacked.  I filled two boxes with math manipulativesalone, in addition to the two plastic tubs I just taped shut (I left several boxes behind, btw).  I have an entire box of just random crap from my teacher desk, and another of shared supplies like markers, highlighters, spare glue sticks, etc.  I have a box that is filled entirely with rolled up bulletin board boarders and craft supplies for goodness sake, and I have hardly any of either of those things in comparison to other teachers!

Lucky for me, though, our district gives us a beautiful gift each year: Records Day.  It's basically a no-kids administrative day for us to fill out info in the kids' cumulative folders (aka PERMANENT RECORDS) and take care of other end of the year tasks, part of which includes the dreaded packing of the room.  Today was that day.  Now setting up the classroom each fall can be overwhelming and a general pain just because of the sheer amount of work involved (x 100 if you are crazy detail obsessed and organized like me...), but the end of the year just sucks because not only is it the same amount of work (more if you're moving schools!), but add in about 10 pounds of dust that somehow managed to collect in random nooks and crannies in the room, plus the general depressing nature of taking a warm, inviting classroom and generally nice place to be and stripping it to the bones of all of its "niceness."  Yuck.  I'm sorry, but this pretty much sucks, you guys.


I spent close to 11 hours in my classroom today, most of which was spent packing.  By the end I was so exhausted that I would sit on a desk between boxes, gaze around the pathetic, depressing mess that was once my wonderfully bright and warm classroom, and figure out which corner I should tackle next.  What a terribly depressing day!!


 Oh, and don't worry--at one point, I got a phone call from a school in Boston asking me to interview for a 5th grade position.  Remember how my #1 choice for next year was teaching in Boston?  And how not a single public district had called during my search?  Yup.  It felt just *awesome* to tell them I had already accepted a job and couldn't interview...I know that I technically could, but I would feel wrong about backing out of this job now since I already have a relationship with the principal.  After I hung up the phone, I immediately burst into tears and sat sobbing in my neighbor teacher's room about how unfair things are.  I know, I was definitely acting like the youngest child baby I am--but seriously.  I was bummed.  Don't get me wrong, I am excited about my new school and new job, and I know that I am SOOOOO lucky to have had multiple offers for next year.  I don't mean to sound ungrateful and like a brat, but it's just frustrating, you know?

Definitely needed to stop for one of these on the way home after that day!
After packing my teacher life into 45 boxes and garbage bags, the couch and TLC are calling my name...Last brick of traithlon training tomorrow, better rest up!


  1. Oh I get it. Packing up all the contents from a classroom is quite overwhelming. I've done it many times. At some point my brain glazes over and I just start tossing things in boxes and call it good. It looks like you never once did that and kept it all organized. Tri training will be the best therapy for you right now! :)

  2. I dread packing up my classroom each year. Luckily I have become wiser and give students little tasks before they leave so I have nothing to pack up! Congratulations on your new school what an exciting new change!

  3. Oooh, packing up classrooms is hard work. Hurrah for the couch and TLC!

  4. What a rough day! Packing a classroom for a move is definitely an insane amount of work, and I agree completely...once we have our rooms down to their bare bones they can be pretty depressing. Good luck with your move. Are you teaching in MA? I also live/teach in MA, small world. =)

  5. I feel your pain-almost. Packing up at the end of the year is a HUGE undertaking, but what you had to do was just plain hard!!! Training will hopefully get your mind off of everything. And isn't that just the way things happen-NOW you get a call from the place you wanted all along. Sort of like when you get married and then see so many cute guys soon afterwards! HA! :)


  6. Sounds like a tiring day! Just wondering, do teachers in the US buy all their own resources and books etc? I teach in London and although packing up my classroom would be hard most of the stuff belongs to school not me. Also, are you finished now for the summer? How lovely! We have another 6 weeks of teaching. Good luck in your new position.

  7. I dread the end of the year because of the packing. It is not a fan task at all! It's worse when you're moving schools or classrooms because you can't just cover stuff, as you mentioned. I have moved classrooms for the last three springs....and I am moving BACK to the classroom I had LAST YEAR I mean, honestly! I will be putting in lots of looooong days this week to pack up all of my 2nd grade crap so I can go back to the big kids where I belong.

  8. Yeah, packing a lot of things in the classroom is indeed a tiring task for everyone, most especially for teachers like you, since you'd spent almost half-day organizing the books and other stuff into the boxes. It can actually be considered as a fitness training or exercise which is a benefit for you as a runner/tri-athlete. But judging from the arrangements above, you stacked and wrapped those things up beautifully. You really deserved a drink after a back-breaking day in school! Good luck on your new job and school!

  9. Moving from one place to another is surely hard, especially if you have lots of stuff. Anyway, have you tried using storage places? It can be good if your stuff still don’t have a place to be stored to. With plenty of stuff, surely it’s not easy to move it all at once to the new school. So storing some of the stuff can make the moving easier.

  10. It really made me tired just looking at how much stuff you packed! You really did great packing all of them. I can just imagine the work you put in just to pack 45 boxes. Anyway, it’s good that you wrapped some of the stuff with plastic. Teachers usually have a lot of papers, and wrapping them up in plastic can keep them safe from getting wet and damaged.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...