I was particularly happy to be reunited with my co-teacher Lauren. This is our sixth year working as a team and our fifth year teaching first grade together. We have been lucky enough to stay in the same room throughout which makes these first two days of set up a tad easier. Everything we need is already in the room but over the summer it is all moved about while the floors are cleaned and waxed. Stepping back into the mess is both exciting and daunting. Exciting because there are new possibilities; "How will we arrange the space this year?", "What do we see as the best environment for our incoming students?" And daunting when we ponder; "How can we possibly get all of this looking polished in just two days while at the same time attend to school business issues and orientation meetings?"
Of course staying late is unavoidable but as the process slowly unfolded the vision for our room became manifest in small ways. New work areas, little niches for independent study or one to one conferences, smooth flow of foot traffic across the various centers, easily accessible books and references materials and ample space for both large and small gatherings.
I wanted to document the transformation as it happened so I took some before and after shots. We have a large classroom as is evident from these pictures so we are blessed in that way. The first four shots are of one section of the room that we see as an area for small group work.
This is how the room looked when we first arrived.
Early on in the second day things began to shape up.
This is how I left it yesterday. Still not perfect and lacking the finishing touches such as paper on the bulletin boards but enough of a clean slate from which to begin.
This area is for our large group meetings and interactions as well as art projects.
We enjoy the open feel of this space and hope that it is both comforting for the children and practical.
This is how things looked when I decided that I could not do anymore yesterday. I am sure that Tuesday will find things shifting and finding new homes. Nothing is written in stone and the rest will take shape according to the demands and needs of our students.