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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 16, Number 4, March 2004

No yard sale!

by Gay Bruce

When you retire, what will you do with your accumulated stuff? I was saved from the horrendous experience of first sorting through all the beloved paraphernalia that I had gathered in my 36-year career and then having to part with each bit piece by painful piece in a "yard-sale." Leaving everything to my elementary school for a tax receipt was the answer.

I asked the AO (who asked the secretary treasurer of the school board) if a tax receipt would be possible and was told it was. The process went something like this:

• An enthusiastic TOC thought sorting through my filing cabinet was the next best thing to Christmas morning. After each season and theme had been visited, I had her empty my filing cabinet and theme boxes. Things that she thought would be useful in the school were offered to the staff; otherwise they were hers.

• Then I began sorting through my professional collection by loading a trolley with material for the staff to peruse. I tried to do a trolley load every week or two until that cupboard was bare. Staff selected items that they wanted catalogued in the school professional library. I could use books that I needed because they were still in the school. Any items left on the trolley were offered to TOCs, and the leftovers were discarded.

• The art supplies that I had purchased were placed in the school art-supply cupboard.

• The classroom library that I purchased over the years was left in place. I boxed the few items that I couldn’t live without, but I was completely out of the school by the last day school in June. It was relatively painless and quick! But best of all I’m not planning a yard sale of boxes and boxes of stuff in the basement that I wish I hadn’t kept. Instead I had a lovely tax receipt to apply to my 2002 income tax return!

Gay Bruce is a retired Saanich teacher.

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