Friday, July 27, 2007

Gearing up, or, "where the hell did I pack that?"

I went in to The Building and worked on my classroom today.

It amazes me how much time it takes every year for me to get my room together. I'm sure this is one of those things that non-teachers never think about - the time we spend just getting ready for school to open. It doesn't seem like it should take that long, but it does. At least this year I didn't have to change rooms, which is a complete pain in the rear. During my first 3 years at The School, I had 4 different classrooms.

However, I still had to pack and box stuff up because they finally tore out the ratty, older than dirt and not much cleaner carpeting that was in the original rooms and replaced it with bright white (with specks of aqua and orange) tile. (My room is in the original part of the 42-year-old building.) The carpeting in our rooms was so bad that some of us were going through rolls of duct tape just trying to hold the seams together, and the local paper featured photos of it on the front page accompanying an article about school maintenance and upgrades. No one could remember how old it was. It could be original to the building for all we knew.

Now I have a floor that's so bright I think I'll need sunglasses. We're talking seriously bright. The last time I saw something this bright I was on a mountain covered with snow with skis on my feet. It certainly makes the room seem cleaner and bigger.

So, I tackled most of the boxes, put all the books back on the bookshelves, moved some furniture around, (I'm messing with my table arrangement), and took Comet and water to my tables so they'll be clean at least at the beginning of the year. Amazing the ick that you can get off a school table.

I still need to go through all my cabinets and my desk and get them organized, but after that I should be good to go. Mrs. Eagle and I are going to meet on Monday and work on some curriculum stuff so we'll get that out of the way.

I did meet four of our new teachers (I think we have 12 or more starting this year) and helped another teacher give them a tour. This always freaks people out because our building is sort of on a hub and spoke design, with 4 different additions added on throughout the years. It is very easy to get lost. The four newbies seem to be fired up and ready to go. Interestingly enough, our entire 8th grade science department is all male, which think is a wonderful thing. We need more male teachers in middle school.

Looks like summer is pretty much over for me.


Jennie said...

Yes, it takes forever! It always takes me longer than most because, while re-shelving my books, I always stop to read them... One word about a tile floor--the desks can be REALLY loud when the kids are moving them (or even when the kids are just moving and being normal...). What works for me is to cut an "x" in a tennis ball and stick it on the legs of the desk. Smooth moving, no scuffing of the floor, and way less noise!

Mrs. Bluebird said...

I've heard the tennis ball idea before and actually have been collecting them over the past year. I still don't have near enough, but I have enough to get started with. I was going to buy some on eBay until I saw the shipping costs!

ms. whatsit said...

I really need to go to my building this week and start setting up. I'm in a new room this year, so that means double to work trying to figure out how I want it to look.

If you haven't aleady done so, please take my survery about what teachers are doing to get ready for the first day of school. Thanks!

Ryan said...

I like the set-up every year; it helps me to remember all the things I have, and get into the coming year.

The custodians hate my set-up every year, because I meticulously unpack all my crap and end up shuffling it around through the many hidey-holes I have around the school.

But I love it!