I can't even tell you how happy I am to report that my classroom is mostly ready for the students to show up a week from tomorrow. I don't think I've ever had my classroom ready this early. I'm always cutting it right down to the wire and falling into bed exhausted the night before school starts.
But I've worked hard these past two weeks with a goal of finishing my classroom before I have to report back to school tomorrow, so that I am free to harass other teachers and incessantly ask them questions. I'm brand new at this school and I have a lot to learn, so I just hope I don't annoy the other teachers too much. But I'm not going to let that stop me. There's information to be had.
Several times I didn't know if I was going to meet my goal, but Wednesday I sealed the deal and made arrangements with Glitter Man to come and take pictures of my classroom on Friday morning. Ready or not. And yes, I did go in to school early Friday morning to wrap things up and subsequently slid into my 11:00 a.m. deadline ten minutes late. Sweaty and panting. But I was done. Mostly.
Now, shall we take a look at those pictures? If you want a closer look at any of the pictures, just click on one and you'll be taken to a screen of just the pictures in a larger view.
This is my desk and work area. This is where I will collapse in exhaustion once the students leave and I have yet to grade papers and prepare for the next day's lessons.
There's the chair that Stinkerbell put together for me. It's very . . . firm. And I have lots of junk in the trunk, so that's really saying something about the chair. It's from IKEA, but I don't think that's why it's not cushy. It's not cushy because it didn't cost me $250.
I just got that little fridge there. Isn't it adorable? I look at it, and I want to stock it with refreshments, but I'm afraid to plug it in this early on account of the district's Energy Police might arrest me for wasting energy. I'm a chicken butt like that.
My loverly office supply shrine is like a beacon in the night, isn't it? And I love my Skippy JJ and Cookie Monster. We're pretty tight. I don't really care if they're too juvenile for middle school.
If loving them is wrong, I don't wanna be right.
This little bookcase is right by the door to my room. Glitter Man is touring us clockwise around the room and I basically just gypped you out of seeing the front of the room, because I've piled loads of textbooks on the floor that I'm offloading to another teacher tomorrow. It's an unsightly pile, and I want to pretend that it isn't messing with the Juju in my Feng Shui.
Girl Genius helped me put the bulletin board paper and borders up. She's really anal like I am, so we make a great team.
The board is divided into five sections, so we just kept it that way and covered each board individually.
Except the black board used to be orange, but I changed it. Girl Genius and I had words about it. I only hope that she can forgive me, but it was making me twitchy.
I bet you've already spied my IKEA magazine files too, haven't you? I'm going to use them to store math notebooks. I'm hoping they all fit.
I found the cheapo calendars at Walmart and I'm going to write the daily assignments on them for absent students to reference when they need to get their missed work.
I'm so in love with the polka dotty bulletin board letters. They match my curtains perfectly.
And check this out. This is why I decided to go with curtains. The bookshelves were particle board covered in a 70s wood grain laminate that was peeling off, and lots of places are exposed like this. I tried covering the between sections here with colorful duct tape, but it wouldn't stay on.
Then I had a stroke of genius and came up with this.
My polka dotty bulletin border, that coordinates with my letters, that goes so perfectly awesome with my monsters, is a perfect match for the fabric of my curtains.
So I borrowed Peanut Head's staple gun and Pow! Pow! Pow! It was so much fun, and I love how it turned out.
I found these colorful crates at Walmart (on sale for $3.67 each or something like that), and I'm using them to store student work. I'll put numbered hanging file folders in them and be able to reuse the same folders every year. I so wanted to splurge on the very pretty, very colorful hanging file folders from The Container Store, but it would have cost me $150. For hanging file folders! I have an office supply obsession, but apparently there is a line which I won't cross.
But I'm still sniffling about it. :(
This is the back of my classroom and I have two more white boards back here. I know. I'm so lucky. I forgot to take a picture of my new bottle of Expo cleaner too. It's the gallon size.
I like my boards to be sparkly clean at the end of every day, so I go through a wee bit of Expo cleaner. Like a maniac.
I also have a slight obsession with the markers. I have them in every color and sometimes I write the agenda in alternating colors. Because I can.
Color makes me happy.
My heart sings every time I look at my paper lanterns and poms. They actually serve a purpose besides the cuteness factor too. They have table group signs hanging from them. I like to do group work and these will serve as a reference points for my students to move their desks to.
Love, love, love my vinyl quotes on canvas.
Can you see my number line at the tippy top of that wall? It was sceeeery putting that thing up.
I had to use the "Danger! Danger" Don't step on this step!" step.
A closer look at my favorite quote.
Glitter Man snapped off a shot of me too. At least my sweat has dried by the time he got to me, so you can't see it.
So, funny thing about last week. My side of the hall was being painted early last week, and Wednesday I arrived to find this Wall 'O Plastic in front of my room. I wrestled my way underneath only to find that my door was also plasticized and taped shut. After a brief moment of a suffocating, plastic encased panic, I decided to just go home and take the day off. It was a nice day off too.
Thursday morning I came back with a utility knife and I cut my way in. Then, because I'm a chicken butt, I taped the plastic back down and re masked everything so that I could open and shut my door. I was locked in my room for a couple hours during which I had to pee mightily, but I outlasted the paint job and emerged from my cocoon triumphant.
So tomorrow I report to work officially, and I feel like I've got a jump on things. Bring on the curriculum and planning, baby!