Looking back

I told my very awesome coworker this week that my classroom is such a mess that I can’t stand it.  But what’s truly sad is that it’s not my mess, it’s my students’. Whenever I leave my work space, I pause at the door and look back to see how I’m leaving the space. I check to make sure I emptied my bucket, I put away my tools, and, most importantly, that I sealed my clay. This is a habit I started a long time ago to combat sloppy tendencies.  Before I leave a room, I try to remember to look back and see what mess I’m leaving behind.

I’ve been wondering lately if that’s a habit one can teach. My students have a tendency to rush out of my classroom to hurry to next class. Usually they leave their work spaces acceptably clean, but a few of them leave books, planners, and the occasional sweaty gym shirt. I need to teach then to look back to see what they’re leaving behind. Who knows- maybe the habit will carry into all aspects of their lives.

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