Math = Love: My CLEAN(er) Desk

Monday, February 3, 2014

My CLEAN(er) Desk

Two weekends ago, I spent 11 hours at school, working in my classroom.  Why?  I was so behind that I felt like I was going to lose my mind.  Did I want to spend my weekend at school?  Definitely not.  I would have much rather spent my weekend reading or catching up on Downton Abbey or even grocery shopping.

My goal for that weekend was to get everything completely done and ready for Monday - Wednesday so this past week wouldn't be as stressful.  To motivate myself, I wrote out my to-do list on the dry erase board.  My students enjoy doing math a lot more on our dry erase boards, so I figured I would have more fun tackling my to do list if it was on the dry erase board.

My To Do List
Everything in the picture is what I crossed off after a 7 hour session on Saturday.  After 4 more hours on Sunday, a lot of stuff was marked off.  Still, some things remained.  And, in fact, I still haven't done some of the things on the list.  I just need more hours in the day.  I need more time to do everything to my standard.

One thing I did was to clean off my desk.  My desk and I are constantly at battle.  I want to have a clean desk.  I really do.  But, flat surfaces have a tendency to not remain so empty in my classroom.

My CLEAN(er) Desk!

While working on cleaning my desk, I had an epiphany.  Maybe if I had less stuff on my desk, it would be easier to keep clean.  It sounded like a good idea, but what should I do about all the stuff I use regularly?  I didn't really want to put my stapler and tape dispenser in a drawer.  My first epiphany was followed by a more minor epiphany.  Hello, Sarah!  You have an entire wall of windows in your classroom.  And, there is a ledge in front of the windows.  Why don't you put the stuff you use all the time on the ledge instead of your desk?

Window Sill of Supplies
The comments made by students and other teachers were priceless.

Student: WOAH!  You cleaned your desk!
Me: Yes, I did.  Are you impressed?
Student: Yes.  Now, I'll really freak out if you have ALL of our papers graded!


Student: Hello, Ms. "Finally Cleaned Your Desk."
Me: Hi!
Student: That's what I'm going to start calling you.

Another Teacher: There's something missing here.  What used to sit here?  I know there used to be something here!  Where'd it go?
Me: I cleaned my desk off this weekend.
Teacher: Oh, that's it.  That explains it.


Student: You rearranged your desk.  Is that so you can have a longer cocaine line?

If you want to see why this is such a big deal, let's flash back to a few weeks ago.

I think those pictures are worth a thousand words.


  1. Sarah, your room looks amazing. I have a desk that looks 10 times worse than yours if you can believe that. I took your advice this week and found another place for my 5 scotch tape holders, extra pencils and turn in bins. My desk is now cleaner. Let's see how long it last. LOL. My problem is getting everything filed and not in stacks. Wish I could get into my building over the weekend and have a marathon cleaning/organizing day.

    1. Ha ha. Thanks! I can't imagine not being able to get into my building to work whenever I want. I guess that's one of the perks of working in such a small district. We all have master keys that let us in the front door.

      Surprisingly, my desk has stayed semi-clean. I think I left it a mess though on Friday. So, I'll have to take care of that Monday morning.