This desk isn't going to clean itself.
Nor is this room.
As the end of official business comes crashing in on top of us, teachers like myself are beginning to look at the piles they have generated over the previous nine months and begin to assess the damage. What, amidst the tidal wave of paper that has littered my main work surface for the past year will follow me into the next? Is that the note I was going to send home with Jane after Christmas break? There is most of a ream of gold paper sitting on the right hand side, ready to turn into Jaguar Cards if any teacher comes to ask.
But they haven't. And consequently one of the paperweights that adorn my desk is the weight of the paper I have not used. And yet I have worked around this and other obstacles for weeks and weeks. Don't get me wrong, I can still access my keyboard and make out my screen. Even if it means that I have to shove things to the left and the right. That broken pair of headphones that only works on one side is my souvenir for rescuing it from students who insisted it was broken. Not completely, I assured them, and have proceeded to use that one tiny speaker to reference the sound that might otherwise have come from any other device I might have connected.
Just beyond that is the can of spray sunscreen that has come in handy less and less as the rains have continued to come through this very wet spring. It is there in case I need it, or as is probably the case, just in case I decide to take it home for those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.
At the bottom of one of the stacks is a laminated sign reminding those who might intrude that testing is taking place, with the reminder at the bottom, "Do Your Best!" For the third, fourth and fifth graders here as well as their teachers, that time has passed. Doing our collective best is now pretty much optional, since the actual teaching has slowed to a virtual halt. We have opportunities to make common sense connections, like reminders that balls don't tend to leave the yard over fifteen foot high fences "on accident."
And there are a number of additional technology scraps that need to find their way to electronic waste or a cabinet where I will find them at the beginning of next year when I will take them out and set them on my desk with the intent of dealing with them. Sometime next year.