You Might Be a Hoarder If...

It's Tuesday!  Today, and every Tuesday, Two Writing Teachers hosts The Slice of Life Challenge (today's link).  Thanks to everyone at Two Writing Teachers for establishing and supporting this amazing community of writers.  

This week I spent my days moving from my first grade classroom to a small room I will be using as a home base while supporting primary readers.  I've been teaching more years than I care to admit; just a little over a quarter century.  Actually, that sounds worse than saying I've been teaching for 26 years.  I've taught everything from kindergarten to 6th grade, as well as worked as a Reading Recovery teacher and as a Literacy Coach.  Though I've held many positions, I've always been in the classroom for part of my day.  So, I've collected some stuff.  That's putting it mildly;  I've collected a lot of stuff.

It took days to sort through everything, separating my materials from those belonging to the school.  I had to think about what I would still need in this new position.  I had to decide if there was room for it in the small room I was moving into for next year.  My sweet husband came with his truck and loaded the boxes, mostly book boxes, back to our house.  Twenty-six years is a lot of books.  As I sorted through I laughed at some of the things I have collected.  I've decided I might have hoarder tendencies. If you're a teacher, I know you know what I'm talking about.  You just never know what you might need.

Signs You Might Be a Teacher Hoarder
You have post-its in every shape, color, and size.

You have enough magnetic clips to hang every piece of paper you've ever touched.  You have silver small, silver medium, silver large, magnetic people, and even magnetic frogs stored away.

You have rubberbands in every size and color….bags and bags of them.

You dedicate file cabinet drawers to folders.  Yep, you can't have too many folders.

Pencils?  Everyone needs pencils.  Small, large, skinny, fat, with erasers, without erasers, striped, starred, red, yellow, blue, colored, regular…you get the idea.

Created bulletin board materials circa 1988 which haven't been used for decades - you have kept them.  Lamination makes them timeless.

You eyed the shredded paper, resulting from standing in front of the shredder for nearly a half hour, thinking it could be used for something.

Those BINGO dobbers your grandma used could surely be used for math, reading, or some crafty activity.  You better keep those.

You have drawers dedicated to tape:  fix-it tape, highlighting tape, book tape, packing tape, scotch tape, duct tape.

Speaking of tape, you do have rolls of electrical tape for lining smooth surfaces.

Those magnetic stove covers from the 90s can do more than cover burners.  They're magnetic after all.

I've laughed as I've talked about my disorder with other teachers.  I've discovered it's a silent problem no one wants to talk about.  I now know friends who have used entire closets in their houses, bedrooms, basements, garages, and even rental spaces because one just never knows when those materials might be needed again.

Well, my classroom is clean and the new small room has things packed (tightly) away.  Now, about this house.


  1. Wow - you and Karen are both leaving the classroom? I had no idea. Can't wait to talk to you about your new position. I understand the hoarding instinct as a teacher. I have it as well.

  2. This post made me chuckle. I read a blog post this past week about a teacher who spent the year before retirement culling through things. I'm hoping to do it in one week. Wish me luck. I may have some pics of my own to post soon. I have some very scary drawers!

  3. I am a bit slow on my Tues responses. . . this made me laugh, because I have shelves of math games in my basement and piles of children's books everywhere


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