Right now the messy desk is the bane of my existence. Not my desk (though it’s no picnic in the park), their desks. No, not their desks, everything that falls out of and off of their desks. My days are filled with this maneuever: stoop, grumble, grab, replace. Sometimes the grumble goes after the grab. Pencils, pens, pieces of paper, markers, crayons, books…it’s a never-ending deluge of detritus. I’m delirious wid dis.

So, that’s simple, you say. Just whip them into organizational shape, you say. Everything in its place. Folders on the left, books on the right, markers in their box slid in between the piles. Confiscate their crayons. One pen per peon. Crack down. Random raids. I’ve tried that. I try it every month. I even made a movie, “Your Desk and You.” They laugh and then go back to dropping stuff.

Then you say, make them clean it up. They can stoop without a grunt or groan. They’re still made out of rubber. I know, but I’ve tried. I’ve tried before recess, before lunch, before going home. “I still see a marker on the ground!” It gets old….months ago.

How about this? No more desks. No more private desks. A government takeover (uh oh, I can hear the frantic scribbling of petitions now…empowered citizenry can be a tyrant’s buzz kill). Journals in this bin. Notebooks in that one. You need a pen? I’ll pass out pens. Need a book? Here’s your ration card. Go wait in line for “book.” If you’re lucky, “two book.”

Drop a pencil?


One response »

  1. Caroline says:

    I student taught in a classroom with tables! Imagine that, a 3rd grade classroom with amazing tables! None of this “Mrs. Conroy! His stuff is on my desk!” No boundaries! Just togetherness! Learning to work together! It was a beautiful thing..

    Alas, I have desks now..and when I was pregnant, I learned to kindly say, “Be a dear and pick that up for me please…” I may have a 19 month old, but I haven’t let go of that 😉

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