Thursday, September 6, 2012

Back to School

This week New York City public school teachers put away the beach towels and set the alarm clocks to go back to school!

We had two days before the children arrived to set up our classrooms (Tuesday) and attend professional development planning workshops (Wednesday).

This year things were a tad more involved for me because after nine years I decided to change rooms. One accumulates quite a bit of stuff after nine years!  It's one thing to have organized closets loaded with books and teaching materials but to have to move all of it and then see it cascading down the tables, chairs and any available surface in a new space is quite another.

Add that to upturned state the classrooms are in from summer cleaning and multiply it by the stuff already in the new classroom and you get this...

The new room on Tuesday morning.
Michelle and I spent over nine hours on Tuesday sorting through the clutter, cleaning closets, arranging and rearranging furniture, sorting books, throwing out long forgotten items (such as lesson plans from 2003), merging her stuff with mine (a formidable task as we had two sets of math manipulatives) and finally, decorating.

At one point we became a little giddy and exhausted, dramatically moaning "I can't do anymore!" but we persevered.  By the end of the day we were happy enough with our progress to drag our aching backs, sore knees and painful hips (who knew hips could even hurt? I never pay attention to my hips) out the door.

This is the fruit of our labors...

This was our classroom on Wednesday afternoon.
Impressive, no?

In my classrooms I always try to create little, quiet places for children to sit and enjoy the pleasures of reading.

This year we created this oasis (on left) by transforming a coat closet into a welcoming reading nook.

We hung curtains, added a couch, a large wicker basket with board books and comic books, a tall magazine rack with more favorite titles and hung a lighted star above the couch to set the right mood.

Today was the first day of school and this area is already a popular place for our kindergarten students in need of a safe, welcoming space to provide a warm hug.

We are off to a great start!

5 comments:

Michelle Mayhood said...

Beautiful!!! Lovely room, lovely class and lovely co-teacher!

Steve Reed said...

Wow, that was a lot of work! What a great looking room. I would have loved that little reading nook as a kid. I always liked cozy little spaces.

Adam said...

What a gorgeous room! You've always got a knack for great classroom setups! The closet nook is a brilliant idea!

Ms.M said...

Gary, I can't tell you how many kinds of tired I am. We started back a bit over 4 weeks ago, things are in full swing and I am exhausted. Your enthusiasm is so nice to see and read about, but I totally got it when you were talking about tired. LOL

Anyway, your room looks all kinds of fantastic. It will be a great learning space for your students. Oh and that reading area is to die for. :)

Glad to be back reading your posts. Let's see how long I can keep it up. :)

M
Ms.M's Blog
A Teacher's Plan

Arielle Lee Bair said...

Room looks beautiful!!!!

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