Before I show my current desk drawers, neatly organized due to a desk-drawer-organizer shopping spree this summer, I'll give you a peek at what most drawers in my life tend to look like (this is a drawer that runs under the counter on the side of my room):
I think I've mentioned before that I'm a messy person, and drawers are one of the worst crutches for this bad habit. See, when surfaces pile up too high I feel guilty; my shame is on display for the world to see. But drawers...drawers are magic because I can just throw things in them and ignore them when they get to a certain level of ridiculousness. It doesn't help that I have a hoarder-like tendency so keep anything and everything in the hopes that random junk is always useful for acting props. I know this is a bad habit, so part of my plan for starting this school year off right was to tackle my desk drawers first. Other drawers, like the above photo, will have to wait.
This drawer is where I stash bulk pens for grading and Sharpies for...well, because I like Sharpies. It also holds random stuff that I can't seem to get rid of. The Harry Potter and Series of Unfortunate Events pins that used to decorate my apron at B. Dalton, even though the store no longer exists. The mouse cat toy a student gave me eight years ago during a "Flowers for Algernon" unit. A Lego Jedi another student gave me when I gifted him with a life-size cardboard Luke Skywalker. These are small things, but they're all memories that I like to keep as happy reminders.
More pens, school ID's from multiple years, chap stick, a nail file. This is the middle drawer of my desk that puts things within easy reach. Even with an organizer in place, I'm not sure anyone would accuse me of being tidy.
This drawer is my pride, since I think it's come the longest way on my organization journey. Binder clips divided by size! Tapes in the same row! Stuff still in original packaging! You can tell by this drawer that I spend a lot of money on various small tools to help me keep papers ordered together. I'm also single-handedly keeping Post-its in business and this is where I store some of the extras.
The bottom drawer is where I keep bandaids, rubber gloves, and thank you cards. What can you infer from this drawer? I like to be prepared for certain emergencies. Middle school kids are still prone to scrapes (our kids still get recess after lunch). The rubber gloves come in handy more often than you would think: passing out treats in homeroom for special occasions, cleaning, and they're good for a variety of dramatic purposes. The thank you notes are a personal reminder to practice what I preach. A lot of learning at the middle school level involves social skills in addition to content learning. I can't teach kids to be polite and gracious if I can't do the same.
So there you have it: my drawers. As I was writing this, I realized that I don't use my drawers nearly as much as I use surfaces to keep necessary materials right at hand. My drawers tend to be a place to store bulk items or hoard random emotional artifacts. I'm also surprised at how little my drawer contents reflect the majority of work that I do in a given day- no sign of papers, lesson materials, books or grading (other than extra pens).
I teach 7th and 8th grade English in rural Iowa and hope to reflect, connect, and share with other English teachers. Iowa Council of Teachers of English Executive Board member. Iowa Writing Project superfan. UNI MA:TESS graduate.