Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Art of Clean-Up

      Once a teacher friend of ours told us that he made an extra $6,000 or so doing masonry in the summer while he wasn’t teaching.  He asked us what we did.  We looked at each other and then truthfully replied, “We read books about teaching, get ideas, de-stress and plan for the next school year.  We also travel with our children, sing in choirs, and go to teacher’s workshops.”  We felt a little silly, but it was true, and we could not imagine spending our summers any other way.  You mean we would rather make less money and spend our time with our children and planning to make our next school year more wonderful?  Yes, that is what we do.  And we don’t get paid an extra $6,000 to spend our time making ourselves better teachers, either.  
     So it was last summer that I was at one of our favorite “teacher” stores (meaning it is not actually a teacher store, but that teachers can find all kinds of neat stuff there), Whole Earth Provision Company, that I picked up this book and had to buy it.  It is called The Art of Clean Up by Ursus Wehrli, and it is full of interesting before and after pictures.  In the before picture, the items are all mixed-up, and in the after picture they are neatly organized.  (Hey, I actually spent money to be a better teacher.)  I showed the book to my students and gave them a week to come up with their own ideas.  They always amaze me.  Here are a few of my favorites, all of which my students came up with on their own.  None are copied from the above book.  Books serve to give us ideas, the creativity we must generate on our own.  

The above two photos were taken by +Lexi Miller .