Friday, August 16, 2013

Back to School

This was our first week back to school (without the kids).  It was a slow week in a weird way.  My to-do list was a mile long, which made me think that my week should go by fast. But it just drug by.  I guess there's just so much anticipation!  There was SO much to do and if I'm being honest, I feel a little overwhelmed.  I'm not really sure why.  Lesson plans are complete, every copy that needed to be made for the 1st week has been done, all students have a desk and books.  I have all my ducks in a row. It might have something to do with 26 students on a roster and more possibly being added on Monday.  Six were added just hours before orientation, so I was scrambling to get desks, name tags, supplies, etc.  But it all came together in time. 

The beginning of the year is such a strange time for me.  I wonder if I'll be able to love these kids like I loved the kids the year before.  I just got them where I wanted them and now I have to start all over, ha!  Is this normal?  Because it happens to me every year.  And every year I end up loving my students and getting so attached.  I just care about them as people and they're so much more to me than a test score.    I'm remembering this year though to lower my expectations to save myself frustration and tears.  I definitely have my work cut out for me, but I'm so blessed to be able to do what I love.  I have an awesome grade level and great co-workers all around.  It really is a privilege to work with such wonderful people!

A big part of getting everything ready is getting your room prepared for those little bodies that will soon fill it up.  I don't think anyone, but teachers, truly understand what it means to "get my room ready".  You have to think about EVERYTHING.  I mean, this is where we'll spend the majority of our time for the next 9 months.  So much will happen in here - awakenings, reality checks, vast amounts of learning, loving, relationships developed, some fights (but hopefully not many), and incredible memories made.  There's so much energy and care that goes into every single thing I do to prepare my room.  It's pretty much how I wanted it, but I honestly didn't plan on that many desks being in there. ;)  Rule number one of being a teacher: FLEXIBILITY.  I'm praying for wisdom, perseverance, to see these kids through God's eyes, and simply to be a light in their worlds.

They were supposed to paint our rooms over the summer.  Before we left, we had to take everything down and put it in the center of our room.  Well, lo and behold the painting didn't happen.  They'll now do it one day during the school year.  Joy!  So, there was much work to be done and still yet to do.  Here's how my room turned out.

 The "before"...a complete disaster!

 Got my office and files all nice and organized!

 Orientation Day...desks are all set-up...everything's done!  This is the view from the door.

 Another view from my desk.  I'm soooooo thankful for a big classroom.

 View from the outside door.

 Their first stop every morning.  Our calendar area.

 I love all of my storage space!  And you better believe it is all used!  We'll do many, many science projects utilizing this counter space back here.  I can't wait!

 Reading Board all ready to go!  There are some bean bags right below it that will be a favorite of some students, I'm sure!

 Writing Board finished.  It won't be bare for long!

 Math Board!  It looks so empty.  I am so excited for another year of Number of the Day!

 Computer area and Science/Social Studies Boards.

 My awesome built in shelves....TONS of books and my science experiment loot.  I put the chairs over here this year for easy access to the class library...we'll see how it goes.

 View from the back of my room looking at the board.

 My classroom door and office door.  Citizenship chart is all ready to go!  I really love my punctuation people on the door.  They are one of my most favorite creations. ;)

 My area - my teacher table and OODLES of supplies behind me!

Word Wall and Cubbies are so clean and neat...let's see how long that lasts!  Ha!

I had a parent tell me at orientation that he could tell that I loved to teach.  I said, "Oh yeah?  How can you tell?"  He replied, "Your classroom.  You can just tell you put a lot of thought into the layout and items you have for the kids."  Thank you so much, sir, for noticing.  Not everyone does.  What an awesome compliment.  It totally made my day!

I am so ready for this year - for the challenges, struggles, and victories.  It's going to be great as long as I keep my eyes on Him and pray everyday over my room.  I am so exhausted and school hasn't even officially started.  I'm off to enjoy a relaxing weekend...and I may or may not eat brownies for supper tonight.  


Kenli LeAnne said...

I am glad that we are in this together! Stay strong! We left today with 23 (18 is our limit) I dont have enough chairs or desks or books! I hope they appear magically by Monday morning! I am stressed! It is ok to cry though because I am sure I will lol. God will comfort us! We got this though! Feel free to vent whenever! see you around the halls :)

Kerri said...

Your room is HUGE! I love all the space and how everything isn't crammed together. I felt like I just had them where I wanted them and now it's time to begin again. But then I remember how gratifying it is to see them grow throughout the year. I think it's worries like that that make us great teachers! :) Can't wait to see how your year goes!