If you are anything like me, you have had the experience of moving to a new home more than once in your life. Working in school turnaround, leaders often find themselves moving from one location to another to help struggling schools. I've learned many lessons through the process of moving. Once of those lessons has to do with old boxes. Each time I move, I contemplate whether each box is truly worth the move or if it should be donated or thrown in the trash. These are the hardest decisions of my life!
Over the years, I have accumulated many instructional resources, both commercial and self-created. Each time I moved, I found myself dragging boxes of binders, books, and other materials from place to place, only to remain packed in a box and collecting dust until the next move. When it's time to move again, I may open the box to familiarize myself with the contents. I find myself sifting through the box with nostalgia and imagining what I could still do with the materials. I think I try to convince myself that the boxes are still worth something.
The truth is, the materials have more sentimental value than true value. They may align to old teaching standards that have since been updated. They may be old editions of books and resources that have been reprinted. They may be artifacts from old teaching and leadership strategies that I've since revised. My encouragement to myself in my last move was to LET IT GO!
Whether literally or figuratively, we may find ourselves carrying our "useless boxes" from one place to another, whether that place is a new place of employment, a new home, a new relationship, or simply a new phase in our lives. In order to reduce the clutter in our lives, we need to seriously reevaluate the value of what we are carrying around--can it truly add to our present situation or are we simply holding on to it for sentimental reasons? Have courage that you are fully capable of acquiring new resources, having new ideas, and creating new materials. Let's not let old baggage keep us so weighed down that we cannot move on to the next project. Let it go!