Looking for ways to make your classroom more joyful and efficient? Want to model world-changing practices for your students? Join me in a little challenge: go paperless! Drawing inspiration from yesterday’s march for the climate in New York, I’m giving myself until the end of the semester to completely eliminate paper from my classroom…and I hope you’ll join in solidarity!

Photo Credit: NBC News

This many people can’t be wrong — it’s time to think of ways that all of us can contribute to a more just, healthy, sustainable world. For me, and for most teachers and school-based educators, fighting our addiction to paper is the #1 way we can help save our planet.

So, I am slowly weaning myself (and my students) off of paper readings, handouts, assignments, rubrics, etc. I am lucky to be teaching in a one-to-one environment where each student can access class materials and submit work electronically. But, honestly, with the advances in smartphone technology, I’ll bet most of your students can, too!

Here are a few of the thoughts and reflections that have run through my mind as I’ve contemplated this task:

  • This will be amazing – no more copier malfunctions to ruin my morning! 
  • How will I remind myself to make sure everything is posted on the class website? I can barely remember to write this blog. 
  • But wait, what if the internet isn’t working? What will we do?
  • What about tests and quizzes?!
  • How will they annotate while they’re reading? 
  • If the reading is on the iPad, how can they take notes? Will they be switching back and forth between screens and get bogged down/confused?
  • The kids will probably be better at this than I am.
  • I think there’s an app for that. All of that. 

Because I’m less tech-savvy than I want to be, I’m giving myself a generous drop-dead-no-more-paper date (end of the first semester), but hopefully I’ll be transitioned sooner than that.

Join if you can!