Musings from a K-5th Reading Specialist. I encourage my students to think, speak, read, and write, with my support.
I parent two amazing young adult daughters with my husband of 28 years.

March 5, 2019

A Clean Desk #SOLC19

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Two Writing Teachers
When the student opened her desk, I winced as I looked inside.
"That desk has roaches," her classmate stated.
"No, it doesn't," replied the owner of the desk.

Since the bell rang, I asked the student if I could help with her desk.  
"You worked hard for me today," I told her.  "So I would like to help you."
I offered to stack her notebooks and books, and then place all the papers in a folder.
She said I could.

I started the deep dig into her desk.  I placed books and notebooks to the side.  I moved past paper, after paper, after paper, finding assignments and newsletters from long ago. 

I think about how discouraged she must be each time she opens her desk.  It got away from her.  

I find her folders and place important notes and classroom coupons and math charts inside.
Her classroom teacher helps me decide what papers should stay or go.

Books get returned.  Pencils sharpened.  The desk is wiped clean inside and out.

I didn't do this chore for praise.  I don't intend to berate the desk's owner tomorrow.

I just wanted to help this child have a chance to succeed tomorrow, with a clean desk.


  1. Yes! Too often we (adults) get hung up on things like messy desks and lost pencils and we let it distract us from the much more important work. Sometimes a kid just needs a little help getting organized. Thank you for sharing!

  2. You were indeed generous and what a gift. Amazing how 5 minutes can make a student feel strong and more in control. So many struggle with just the basics. Maybe her classmates will be inspired!

  3. Thanks for this tidbit. It reminds me when I slow down and take to the time to help a student solve a problem, we both grow.

  4. Some kids just don't have the skills to do this kind of stuff themselves. And yet the order really helps them. Sounds like you made a difference in this child's life today.