* C is for clutter

My A to Z Blogging Challenge happens to be another challenge: clutter!

Visual clutter is a distraction for many special needs kids.  For my students on the autism spectrum who were staring endlessly at something in the room, the best strategy was to ask what they found so irresistible.  This led to the eventual removal of everything in their line of sight.  Except me, of course.

Me:  What are you looking at?

Student:  That.

Me:  What?  (Turning around to hunt for THAT)

Student:  He is at 12:45.

Me:  12:45?  (Searching for ANYTHING that says 12:45)

Student:  On Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Me:  Oh.  (Removing a miniature schedule, resting on a ledge behind my chair, so I wouldn’t forget the lunch bunch schedule)  (Brightly)  OK!  Let’s focus on your writing assignment!

I have always been a cluttered teacher.  I know where stuff is, even if it’s buried a foot deep in teetering piles of paper debris.  The only time I reduced my clutter was when an overhead valve periodically spewed brown water all over my head and group table.  Even with that threat, clutter started to reproduce like bunnies, so I used a shower curtain at night to cover everything.  During the day, I continually scanned the valve for signs of growing moisture.  I was a bit distracted by that valve, but if I moved the table, I wouldn’t have easy access to the whiteboard.  And my students LOVED to work on the whiteboard and then stare at their remarkable efforts.

Me:  What are you looking at?

Students:  Nothing.

OK, I eventually moved the table.  Then I had to remove everything from that bulletin board behind me.

Donors Choose 2

A photo for my Donor’s Choose request.  Look at that bookcase!  I think I got my project fulfilled because everyone felt sorry for my students.


One thought on “* C is for clutter

  1. Pingback: * D is for dang | Teachezwell Blog

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