At long last, I have finished up a project that I started in October: scanning hard copies of information collected throughout my years in the classroom. Many of the items, such as handouts from conferences, only existed in paper form. Over the last three months, I have digitized (and recycled) what amounts to a four-drawer file cabinet. That's a lot of pounds of paper...and a lot of MB of data. I also went through all of my existing digital files from my 17 years in the classroom and cleaned them up. After shifting jobs over the last several years, I had ended up with several items in four different locations. Now, there is just one copy of each...and they're all in their places with bright shiny faces.
I am now a teacher on a (USB) stick.
It's been a long strange trip as I've completed this process. I have some truly cringeworthy examples of lessons from early in my career that I could have deleted, but didn't. I've rediscovered some fabulous activities---some collected and some designed by me. But the most unanticipated consequence is just how inspired I feel after seeing all this stuff again. I'm excited by the possibilities and feel like I'm clear about what I want to do with my future career (as well as what I don't want to do). I like the idea that I'm more mobile now...even if I don't have any particular place to go.