Take Those Blinders Off!

Light Bulbs and Laughter - Take Those Blinders Off!
"Huge Blinders" by Emilio Labrador is licensed under CC by 2.0
There's this thing we all do.  Well, I think we all do.  I actually have no empirical evidence of this.  Let's just say, for the sake of argument, that we all do this... we get so busy living our life and doing our job that we don't really look around.  We don't notice our own mess.

Light Bulbs and Laughter - Take Those Blinders Off!
 Let me give you an example.  My son (We'll call him L3) moved home from college for the summer last month.  He brought bags and bags of kitchen supplies, including food, that he had been using in his rental house.  He also brought two chairs and his television.  He dumped them all in my kitchen/dining room.These chairs and this television have been sitting in my dining room for over a month.
He shows no evidence of wanting to move them.  He has very good vision, but...
 He does not see them.   
 He has blinders on.  (I think someone had dumped the chairs outside one of the University houses.  Ick.  However, I am proud that he is being thrifty, and getting that whole reuse, repurpose, recycle thing, which lowers the ick factor.  Somewhat.)

If you look in the mirror, you can see some of his kitchen stuff on the counter.  I must admit, however, that a lot of it is mine.  Because I do the same thing.  And I'm not about to take pictures of MY messes at home!

So how does this relate to the classroom?
Well, if you're anything like me, you let things pile up on surfaces.  I'm too busy teaching, planning, learning, and having fun to worry about a messy classroom.  I have stacks of papers to be filed.  I have stacks of pictures and notes from my students.  I have boxes of books from Scholastic that haven't made it to my classroom library.  I have blinders on.  Until something causes me to remove them. There are many more examples of this in my classroom, but today I am focusing on this shelf of binders:
Light Bulbs and Laughter - Take Those Blinders Off!
They are old.  They are ugly.  Some are broken.  Some are from the teacher who taught in this room before me, seven years a long time ago, and I thought they might be useful someday.  They are all different sizes, and all different colors.  Plus, I don't even use transparencies any more!  I can't afford to replace them all.  I need to find a way to reuse, repurpose, and recycle.  Plus get rid of the ick factor.

The blinders are off.  My room needs a lot of work.  I am going to begin with something small and see where I can go from there.  Binders.  And no more blinders.  I'm going to get started.  Really.  Tomorrow.


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