Stuff Management

During a normal school year,

 I spend hours in front of a copying machine

producing stacks and stacks of handouts.

I collect, grade and return

countless paper-based assignments. 

Piles of pencils

and heaps of hall passes 

see hand-to-hand tranfer.

During a normal school year,

daily objectives, 

homework assignments,

and key information 

are neatly printed on the whiteboard 

with multicolored markers.

Anchor charts hang from the walls,

exemplary work plasters the halls. 

During a normal school year,

I expend 

so much 



all of this 


But a global pandemic

has caused a revolution

in stuff management.

School supplies are intricately stacked 

in my storage closet like Jenga pieces. 

Bulletin boards are free of

mental clutter.  

Non-essential items

plastic crates, 

rolling carts, 


are stowed away in 

underground facilities,

out of sight, out of mind.

Twelve desks are

uniformly aligned

rows of four

spaced six-feet apart.

During a global pandemic,

my room feels 

sparse but cozy, 

simple but calm. 

Tomorrow, my hybrid students 

will return to our sacred place of learning.

We will arrive with backpacks

slung over our shoulders–

backpacks containing everything

we need to make learning happen.

6 thoughts on “Stuff Management

  1. I’ve been surprised by how much I love the simplicity of my classroom this week. Priorities have been reset in a major way.


  2. Love the description of your set up and how keeping it simple may be exactly what we need this very complicated year. Phrases that jump out- “like Jenga pieces”, “free of mental clutter”, and “revolution in stuff management”.


  3. The truth behind the words “But a global pandemic / has caused a revolution / in stuff management.” allows me to see a part of the past year’s disruption positively. In a frenzy to mentally prepare for concurrent teaching, you made me realize I have yet to step foot in a copy room this school year. I hope you had a great first week with some of your students in person!


  4. Your slice is a great reflection on the specifics of HOW we teach has changed SO much. It would be interesting for you to now reflect on the STUFF you are using and doing as this hybrid/concurrent teaching assignment began. Maybe a future slice. So interesting how time at the xerox machine has lessened. So true.


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