Each year on May 17, people are encouraged to look around their homes, offices, garages, basements and storage buildings and examine their collecting tendencies. It is a day named for the hoarder in all (well, some) of us.
Today is National Pack Rat Day!
For teachers, this day comes at a perfect time each year.
This is the time of year that educators begin preparing for the last days of school, and that means boxing up the majority of our classrooms to prepare them for a good, summer cleaning.
It’s not unusual to find ourselves overwhelmed at the amount of stuff we’ve managed to acquire in 10 months.
In our defense, teachers are notorious for being savers and collectors. It’s a habit born of necessity. It’s common knowledge that schools are seriously underfunded, therefore most of us are quite skilled at finding creative ways to engage our students and encourage their own creativity and imaginations.
For example, we would never throw away empty paper towel rolls or empty tissue boxes. Those aren’t trash! They are possible pencil holders, musical instruments, story characters or vessels in which we will model an important concept in science.
Those paper plates? Those are clocks or potential pizzas to teach fractions.
Those empty water bottles? Those are next year’s lava lamps and vases to hold our tissue paper flowers for Mother’s Day.
Yes, we intend to keep those mismatched socks. Those are puppets, erasers for dry erase markers and even bats for our study of nocturnal animals.
And please don’t attempt to toss those three half-empty bags of Poly-fil. How else are we supposed to stuff the socks to make our bats?
And don’t you dare throw away that big bag of popsicle sticks! The possibilities there are just too numerous to list.
Some people will never understand that we mean to save those seven glue sticks, the big tub of broken crayons, the 29 googly eyes, the cotton balls and the open packs of streamers.
We have to keep these things. Money and supplies do not grow on trees. And speaking of trees, please don’t toss those random pieces of tissue paper. I saved those from a Christmas gift because that shade of green makes a beautiful tree when we study the seasons.
So today, May 17, is the day to celebrate pack rats everywhere. If you happen to have a special hoarder in your life, honor them today.
And take them a few empty boxes while you’re at it.