Organization = Empowerment

HELLO, Hopefully you will find the following story both informative (not too crazy) 
and maybe a little funny!
Anyone who has ever moved can probably relate.

As many of you know, I am new to CMSE this year (2014). However, you may not know that I am not new to Coppell. I am a CHS graduate (along with the other fine people in this picture) and attended CMSE as well! 

For the last few years I have been teaching in LISD. I started 
The Idea Factory about 2 years ago so, you will see posts on our blog from my previous teaching experience as well. 

For any teacher, moving is quite a daunting task. 
It is much like moving your house. Teachers spend a lot of time collecting and procuring items and resources for students that of course, when they move, whether it is from classroom to classroom or to a new school they take these items with them. 
The important thing to know here is that my philosophy on carrying this stuff around with me includes the absolute organization and inventory of 

There is a deeper reasoning for this insane accountability that I hold myself to. It goes beyond the structure of the classroom. I believe organization is one of the keys to life. I believe it breeds success in areas of our lives in which we otherwise may struggle.
Now, this being said, I will be the first to admit that an impeccable sense of organization is not always an inherent trait. For me personally it is more of a learned behavior or rather a tool I utilize in order to function on a daily basis. Do I sometimes take it to the extreme? Absolutely! Our world moves at such an incredibly surging pace that I cannot imagine anyone that would not benefit from a little organization! And while you are doing so, why not make it look good by using a little color coding.  
You know, something simple to help you out down the road.

On the ground level; organization of thoughts, activities and supplies are considered (by me) to be a vital part of a well functioning classroom.  
So, you are probably thinking, "This isn't that amazing."  "I have WAY too many other things to think about other than being organized." 
I am here to tell you in the creative space as in life, it is. 
Here is why: If I am not organized, what am I teaching my students? I want my students to be more than proficient when helping themselves and/or others, organizing thoughts, and capable of developing and planning strategies for their success. 
Not only in the art room but in life. 
In our classroom, without organization, HOW are they going to know where anything thing is? HOW will we know what media and supplies we have at our disposal? Would we truly be an efficient and well functioning classroom if we just tossed unlike items into drawers and cabinets...and how would this behavior translate into our daily lives? Organization also helps me as an educator to better evaluate our classroom needs and budget more efficiently for our future needs. 

Myth: All creative people are scattered, cluttered and chaotic.
Being an artist doesn't mean that you have to be unorganized. 
Occasionally messy...maybe, temporarily sloppy sure. 
Everyone makes a mess now and then. 
It's part of the creative process but being unorganized shouldn't be. 
The world is FULL of people working in creative careers that require high levels of organizational skills. 
Organization is in fact a skill that can be learned. My hope: I wish for my students to view organization as a foundational building block for the betterment of their futures, 
whatever that may be.

All of that being said, this is an account (a photo story) of how our classroom came together this summer and my small, very tiny obsession with being organized. 
You could also title it, 10 steps to Crazy.

(Step 1:) Procure a TEAM. 

My Team consisted of my husband, mother, Ms. Springer, Mr. McGill, Mr. Glover a few friends from my old school and Mrs. Westervelt from the high school. 
I am eternally grateful to have had ALL the help 
these people selflessly gave. 
This is NOT something one can do alone! 

(Step 2:) Evaluate the situation.


At first, it appears pretty harmless. Then you realize things aren't quite where you want them. SO, you start to move things around. 

Good 'Ol Ben said,
LOVE IT!!!!!

After all, ALL you want to do
 is turn this................................into this! 

(Step 3:) In order to REALLY make things NUTTY
bring in your own furniture and supplies. 

You continue to bring your stuff in......
because in reality you have no where else to put it.

Everything still looks O.K. then all of a sudden, 

BAM! Out of nowhere, 
(Step 4:) you have everything pulled out of 
EVERY cabinet and drawer. 

Things get scary.

Panic Ensues...

For a while, you think "What HAPPENED?!?!?!" 

    I just wanted to turn this..........into this.   REMEMBER?!

You start asking yourself, 


You're a full week in and...
then your team starts to lose it 
and dress up in things found in the closet.

You suddenly realize you've had your nose to the grindstone for a week straight in summer heat (no air conditioning). So, you lift your head, you survey the land, you start to feel confident 
(well a little better anyway), things are looking up! 

Looking Organized....

Starting to create space and label....

Your things are finding a home in this new space.

Organization is happening and there are small signs of it everywhere!

(Step 5:) Maybe everyone deserves a break. 
Everyone but you that is...
(Remember they are doing this out of LOVE, you are not paying them.) 

Your brain screams, "Don't do it!"
 "Give yourself a break." "You're going to burn out!"
Then you do the unthinkable... 
(Step 6:) and take it home with you. I know. CRAZY!

"Looks small, no biggie, I can go through that tonight."

"Nice little boxes holding years of info, not intimidating at all."


You've pulled out the sticky notes. 

At this point, even the dog is over it. 
He groans, "Hey Looney Toon!"..."Remember me?" 

(Step 7:) Back to school for another week 
(yes, week) 
before you have to report to professional development and FINALLY 
there is a better understanding of what we have and where it is!

Organized by Medium/Tools
BEAUTIFUL Containers!
Massive flat files and pieces of furniture moved.
Line of Sight.
New artwork and posters going up. 
Cleaning supplies coming out...
Things begin to disappear into their rightful places.
The last large bin of trash goes out.

(Step 8:)
Feeling pretty confident aren't you?
 AS IF you have any time for projects
 but you start one anyway.

New drafting tables and chairs arrive. 
A HUGE thank you to my principals who put together 
EVERY piece of furniture for us
while I had to be at professional development and new to the district trainings. Aren't they BEAUTIFUL?

Just when you think you are turning a corner and you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.....SCHOOL SUPPLIES ARRIVE!!!! Thank goodness 90% of everything is now organized so that you know precisely where they will go. :)

(Step 9:)

Take a deep breath and remember:

You are as ready as you can be for the first day.  :)

1st Day Popcorn Warm-up

(Step 10:) Now, time to work on our blog. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!


No comments:

Post a Comment