The Things That I've Carried
Today, I am supposed to be reflecting on the contents of my desk and what they might reveal about me. Rather than reflecting upon the contents of one of my former desks (which would have been amply stocked with Tic-Tacs, deodorant, junk food, and miscellaneous spare change) I am going to reflect on some of the contents of the bag that I unpacked when I arrived at my long-term subbing gig at Browns River Middle School at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year. Since I was only fortunate enough to spend one year there (under a one-year contract), I found myself repacking many of the same items on my last day in the building. Since then, the objects have remained in the bag, and they continue to do so, until a new excuse to unpack them arises.
Aside from colorful markers and a pouch of custom made pencils inscribed with the quote, "You kick massive tail," the crown jewel of my bag is a battery operated push button (aka. the Boogie Button) that plays the old disco tune, "Shake Your Booty." The markers reveal my passion for color and my desire to be prepared. The pencils and the Boogie Button are throw-backs to the first class of students that I taught at Colchester Middle School several years ago, a class that continues to hold a deep place in my heart. These items symbolize the fun that I had with those students and my desire to build new relationships, in a supportive, inspiring, and fun environment.
In addition to random sticky notes, a deck of Scooby Doo cards, and a couple of thin three-ring binders, the bag also contains a large, purple felted ball and an inflatable globe (both good for tossing), a brass bell (occasionally good for getting a class' attention), a pencil box equipped with a few happy face stickers, and several plastic clipboards.
One thing that I noticed about myself while reflecting upon this prompt is that I've learned to live with less stuff in my desk, my bag, and my professional spaces over time. Furthermore, reducing the clutter and identifying what is most vital to carry, could be viewed as a metaphor for my life as an educator over the past few years.