School started about two weeks ago, and thus far...it's been a smooth start. It helps to know the school and culture a little better. I still have miles to go in terms of learning how to teach the way I am expected to teach, I think, and miles to go before I've got the classroom management down, and many other things - but less miles than last year. There's not much to report - life is getting very busy very fast, and so this might be the last post for a while (not that I'm the most prolific writer under normal circumstances). I'm starting grad school (finally) this semester, officially, which should mean I'll be busy writing papers, and not have much time for blog posts; in addition to grad school, I'm a lot more involved in things at school this year.
I snapped some of these pictures before school started so things look a little more finished now (and by finished, I mean messy...), but here are a few little peeks into my home-away-from home:
(It's probably a good idea to take the envelope full of student ID cards off the desk before snapping the picture.)
The crate is for picking up and dropping off absent work. I'm trying a new procedure this year. I didn't really have one last year, was idiotic and extremely time consuming and stressful. I've tried so many systems over the years - basically it comes down to needing to be extremely organized in both your record keeping and in your paper handling - I am nothing, if not extremely not well organized...
Two weeks in, numbering my table groups is basically the best thing I've ever done. I can call out "Table 6" instead of individual student names if there is noise coming from that group. All my groups' desks are lettered A through D, and so I can say "If you are a D, collect the papers for your group and turn them into the turn-in bin." These are not ideas I came up with, by the way, but gathered from other teachers, or Pinterest.
Also, my classwork folder crates. I'm keeping all classwork handouts in class, in an effort to help students not lose, well, everything. I'm worried that this is too much hand-holding, but I guess I'd rather have hand-holding and my students actually have their work, rather than the alternative (disaster, etc.).
Each crate is devoted to a mod; in each crate is a hanging folder for each table group. The first person of the group to arrive gets the folders, the A-seat person always returns them. We're still working out the kinks...laziness has reared its ugly head, and I'm finding folders stuffed wherever, even in other crates.
Don't worry. This will stop. Soon. Or else.
Student work bulletin board. It might be a little too busy, but hopefully it will get filled up with exemplar student work! The background is just 12" pieces of scrapbook paper stapled in a hodge podge. I've learned over the years that if something is supposed to be straight and it isn't, it drives me crazy, so I just do everything at a tilt or an angle and I keep my sanity. I wanted to do a sort of quilt-work pattern but that lasted about twenty-seconds.
My classroom is always a work in progress - there will be home-made posters and student work and giant post-it note posters and other things put up and taken down as the year progresses. My classroom really does become my homebase, more so than my own home. I used to keep a half-dozen pairs of shoes in my classroom, as well as half the dishes I owned in the world...I'm a little better about that now (I keep it to one mug and one set of silverware, generally...), but it's still my space and I spend a lot of time making it look welcoming and also thinking about the flow of traffic and procedures.
Hope you enjoyed this little tour. Come visit sometime!