Let the Adventures Begin!
Welcome to my new blogging home! If you are a first-time visitor, I hope you’ll take time to read my about pages to learn more about me and my journey in education. If you are someone who had been following my adventures in substituting and can’t get enough of my stories, I’m glad you can! And if you are somehow a repeat visitor to this site who hasn’t visited my other one… well, congratulations on finding my blog before I had announced it!
So, my adventures have already begun! They started as soon as I got a phone call last Tuesday extending the invitation to work at Wiley Elementary and have been going non-stop since. After spending the day telling people about my new job, I went to bed early, took my wife to work the next day, and spent a good part of Wednesday staring at my my new classroom, trying to figure out what to do first. By way of reference, this is what I found when I visited my room for the first time:
Doesn’t look too bad, right? Well, other than the fact that the desks are all in group in the middle with no space around them, but that’s to be expected. Okay, let’s take a closer look at what I had waiting for me! Let’s start with the TV cart:
A nice large television, a combo VCR/DVD player, a large flatbed scanner, and some stuff on the bottom. All useful, although the scanner definitely belongs elsewhere!
Okay, so the scanner is old and uses a massive plug to connect. I’m happy to have it, though!
I gotta admit it: I have no idea what to do with this old-style filmstrip projector, or even how to use it. I’m guessing it will not be staying in my room… but then again, maybe it will. (Along with the portable screen there on the left.)
Then there are the boxes…
And more boxes…
Fortunately, I have lots of shelf space in my room, but I haven’t taken any good pictures to show just how many shelves I have.
Other things I discovered included a pitchfork…
… and a giant mirror, used once-upon-a-time for observations:
I have to figure out a way to cover up the mirror, though, since it is apparently quite the source of distraction for fourth graders. I am thinking of acquiring a large sheet of corkboard and turning it in a large bulletin board.
After spending a lot of time just staring at the room and trying to figure out what to do first, I decided to tackle the desks. I am planning for 30 students, so I initially tried an arrangement of six groups of five. However, after Gretchen arrived and looked it over, we decided that the desks were too crowded, and she helped me switch them to four long rows. I currently have an aisle in the middle, but I may close it up to give more space in the room for a reading center and a table. All of that took up most of my day, so I left the boxes for later.
I came back on Thursday and unpacked the boxes. They contained all of my classroom books. After pulling them all out and sorting them, the room looked like a very well-organised mess:
Friday was spent putting all of the books away and sorting through the various non-textbook books I had, such as teachers’ editions, supplements, binders of miscellaneous stuff, and old curriculum guides. Oh, in the foreground of the above picture you should be able to see a large stack of papers on top of the green thing. Those papers are an inventory of the Wiley classroom supplies from 1989! I showed it to my principal and she just laughed. Teachers keep the strangest things.
I had hoped to not go to the room over the weekend, but I still had more to do. After putting away all of the books that had come with the room, I started bringing over my boxes of teaching stuff that I’ve been collecting over the years. I also boxed up and carted over the 250 or so juvenile fiction books that I’ve had sitting in my living room for some time. Gretch and I still haven’t figured out what we are going to do with the additional space when half of my books are gone!
I still have a lot to do, but I am making progress. I am worried about how much I’ll be able to accomplish this week, though, since I have new teacher/new employee orientation most of the day from Monday through Thursday. I’ll be going over each evening, though, and I’m sure I’ll get it done before school starts on the 15th!