I went into my current classroom the other day to begin the process of packing up. I forgot how much stuff I have. Ughhh. I spent the majority of the time just staring around the room trying to figure out where to start and the rest of the time was spent thinking about where I will put this stuff in my new classroom. So, I got very little packing done, which is unfortunate because I won't have another opportunity to get back in there until next Tuesday. Oh wait, did I say "unfortunate"? Let me suck those words back in because there is NOTHING unfortunate about going to the beach which is the reason why I can't get back into my classroom until next Tuesday!:)
I did have the chance to talk to the teacher who will be taking my place, teaching first grade in the school I am leaving. I am incredibly excited for her. She is a first year teacher (well...kinda....she has been an assistant for many years and has been the computer teacher for a long time, but she has never had a class of her own). Regardless, I was happy to spend some time with her and answer all the questions she had about first grade, the curriculum, classroom management, organization tips, etc. She is feeling a bit overwhelmed (and we can all relate to that feeling) as she is trying to wrap her mind around all the work that goes into getting a classroom ready, in addition to the many trainings she will go through over the next month or so. My advice to her was this: Just make the classroom presentable and functional for now. At this time it is more important to focus most of your attention on the curriculum and how you will teach it. All the rest will come with time.
I also told her a lesson I have learned about classroom setup as this will be my seventh classroom! Always start by setting up your "teaching hub" first; this is the space you do most of your teaching from. If you have an interactive whiteboard (which she does), this needs to be your starting point. Turn the projector on and set that area up as if you are going to teach a lesson right then. Keep the projector going as you are arranging the room so that you will be able to make sure it is viewable for every child in the classroom.
These are just a couple of the lessons I have learned over the years:) I will try very hard to keep these lessons forefront in my mind as I work on setting up my own room. I have been obsessing over the layout of my new classroom ever since visiting it for the first time on Monday. So, of course I did what all good slightly OCD teachers do; I made a list. I used the pictures from my previous post to make a list of every piece of furniture in the room. Then I sketched an outline of the classroom and played around with the setup....
Well, friends...it's off for a toes-in-the-sand kinda of trip! I'll be back next week:)
5 months ago