Phew! My home office is CLEAN! All those piles of papers have been filed away, and the little bags of junk I didn't know what to do with have now been dealt with.
When I cleaned out my classroom at the end of the year, I also had a few little containers of junk I didn't know what to do with. One of which was The Drawer. The Drawer houses all manner of items I have taken away from children during the school day for one reason or another. The Drawer often provides temporary housing for action figures, oversized green plastic sunglasses, miscellaneous electronic amusements, and red and blue swirled rubber bouncy balls--objects that are so fun that backpacks or pockets never seem to have enough power of containment for them--they always find away to escape and make an appearance during writing. If there's already been a reminder about one of these funnest of objects, into The Drawer it goes for retrieval at dismissal. These are often remembered and claimed in a timely fashion, but seeing as I sure am not going to give enough thought to Melvin's super squishy stretchy ball to notice that it hasn't been around for a few days, The Drawer slowly accumulates the more forgettable toys.
In addition to an unofficial "No fart- and burp-noise machine" policy that I have, we also have an official "No candy" policy at the school. Lunchables, the pre-packed, lunch-in-a-box company, does not share this philosophy, though they do apparently subscribe to the creed of miniaturization. Anyone with a "fun size" chocolate bar or a baby bag of Skittles removes the candy from the Lunchable, leaves it on my desk, and sits back down to enjoy her miniature ham and miniature cheese or her tiny taco. Into The Drawer go the small Lunchables candies, nestled snugly between any other wayward sugary treats spotted around the classroom and the fart- and burp-noise machine. Our most frequent Lunchable eater one year would usually forget to retrieve her daily treat from The Drawer, and we amassed the equivalent of about a half dozen regular sized candy bars before sending it all home with her one day. Loading a child up with an armful of miniature Butterfingers and Reese's peanut butter cups seems an odd way to enforce a no candy policy.
During teacher appreciation week, when our class "adopted" one of the special ed teachers, I found out that she really liked peanut butter cups, and bought a pack of individually wrapped Reese's to dole out to her each day of the week, along with cards from the kids and tokens of our appreciation. As she unwrapped the final gift of the week with a crowd of children around her and found even more of the peanut butter cups at the bottom of the gift bag, Ms. Lesley exclaimed how much she loved Reese's. "They're from the Lunchables!" shouted one of the children. I had to clarify that we were not re-gifting confiscated candy from students' lunches, but that I had actually bought those peanut butter cups at the grocery store thank you very much.
At the end of the year, The Drawer still managed to have an assortment of unclaimed items--mostly candy. Below is a list of the junk food I cleaned out of The Drawer after the children had left for the summer.
-3 mini Butterfingers from Lunchables
-Bag of Doritos
-3 Airheads candies
-A Fast Break candy bar
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