Thursday, August 15, 2013

Manic Mode

I've been on vacation for real for the last three weeks. The girlies and I were in California for two weeks, and my mom drove back with us to spend a week. We packed a lot into the last three weeks, and I don't feel like I did a lot of relaxing, but I did finish our vacation anxious to be productive.

While my mom was here the whole family did the Color Vibe 5K.

Even my Mama Llama.

All good things must come to an end, so early yesterday morning I took my Mama Llama to the airport and I hit the ground running. I have a week and a half to whip my classroom into shape, and I also have a million other things to do that are not school related. In between working in the classroom I've been shuttling the girls and myself back and forth to doctor and dentist appointments and running errands.

And I haven't even started my spring cleaning yet! Every summer I say I'm going to tackle that, and every summer I somehow run out of time. It's frustrating.

I know, whine, whine. I'll stop.

Before leaving for California I started having school nightmares. Thankfully I haven't yet had the nightmares where for some inexplicable reason I show up to school naked and all the students are knocking on the door to get in while I'm digging in boxes trying to find my clothes. And yes, I also would like to know how I actually get to school without realizing I'm naked, but that's how nightmares work, I guess.

Thankfully I've been wearing clothes in my nightmares of late, but my classroom is still packed up and I've planned nothing for the students to do. The no plans part is enough to give me heart palpitations because I am not a fly by the seat of my pants type of girl. I need plans.

Anyway, since I started going in before vacation, I spent a lot of time doing unimportant, fun things, like sorting my markers.

If you are one of my 12 Instagram followers, you've probably seen some of these pictures already.

I made labels for the colorful bins I bought at They make me happy.

My eight graders will keep their interactive math notebooks in the bins unless they need to take them home to finish their class assignments. My seventh graders have to keep theirs with them because they'll be using them for their homework.

What do you think of the bulletin board border around the white board? I've seen a lot of classrooms with them actually on the whiteboard, but I didn't want mine to get ink on them, so I put them on the outside.

I'd like to change the vinyl on the whiteboard to a grid set up. I have three classes to prep for this year, plus Advisory, so I need to update it anyway. This is what I'd like to do.

Every day when the students come in they ask "What are we doing today?" I always point to the Agenda while I will my head not to explode. I have an entire whiteboard to devote to this, so I'm going to post the entire week at a time. Sure, plans may change, but I think this will be very helpful for my students, especially if they know they're going to miss a class.

Also, sometimes I have a conscientious student who will come up to me and ask for their work ahead of time, and if I don't have my plans right in front of me, or they're buried on my desk because 180 students, I really have no clue what we're doing because I have the memory of a gnat. My typical response is "Bduh. Um . . . I'll get back to you." Not cool.

Yesterday I started working on cutifying my filing cabinet. This is what it looked like before.

And this is what it looks like now. I still need to make labels for it, but I'm pretty happy with the result. What I don't know, is how well it's going to hold up. If it doesn't hold up, I'll be peeling all the contact paper off next summer and painting it. I sure hope it holds up.

I posted this picture on Instagram and shared it to Facebook, and then my sister got all up in my business about the contact paper, maligning me on Facebook in front of my friends. And I cried.

Not really. I mean that did happen, but I didn't cry .

You do remember my sister, right?

She is just like she looks in this picture.

Anyway, she was all up in my business and accusing me of being a hypocrite because I teased her (and my Grandma too) about covering furniture with contact paper and that it's so tacky, blah, blah.

So really, I knew my sister was going to be all "HA! " when she saw my contact paper furniture, because I did deserve it.

But people change, man.

And my filing cabinet was U-G-L-Y.

I think that now it is pretty. So I'm a hypocrite. Sue me.

Next up is my desk.

No, not this desk exactly, but yes, this desk.

This particular desk was on the shooting range, riddled with bullet holes, and I noticed that it's the same exact desk that I have at school. Except minus the rust and bullet holes.

Peanut Head took all the legs off this summer and something-something to them to make it not wobbly. Now an elephant can sit on my desk, and it will not collapse.

Anyway, both desks make a hideous screechy groaning noise when the drawers are opened. Perfect transition signal when I'm feeling naughty. Which, if I'm honest, is every day. Multiple times usually.

My desk is now covered with contact paper. I still have three drawers left to cover. That's why they're not in the picture.

The most difficult part of this project was devoting the time to do it, about eight hours. All the exterior hardware has to be removed and then put back on, and it is not fun. Plus it's a sweaty, have to be on the floor a lot, kind of job.

Getting up off the floor is not as easy as it once was.

If you're under forty you have no idea what I'm talking about. Forget I even said anything. Ignorance is bliss and all that.

So that's where I'm at with my room. Glitter Man is going to take proper pictures for my classroom tour once it's all done. I doubt that will be before the end of next week though.

With any luck, and not too much exhaustion, I may pop in here and there to show little accomplishments. If not, for sure I'll be posting on Instagram.

I post other stuff on Instagram too. Stuff that doesn't necessarily make it onto the blog because, you know, time. That or it's just not enough to justify a post.

Like this. It's my minivan disclaimer.

Anyway, if you want to follow my Instagram drivel, my handle is Jillderbeast.  Peace out.


  1. Wow! I love it--contact paper and all. But then again, there's really cool contact paper out now. And duct tape. I see you've already found the duct tape.

    When I taught, I made my students do really cool and interesting projects that I could hang all over the place. I even had a few students who sculpted and made mobiles, so that was pretty neat. But, I taught high school, so rooms were less decorated.

    When I made my lesson plans for the week, I always made a weekly student agenda that I passed out. That way, if a student was absent they knew what work had to be made up and could do it. I also kept a file box with handouts for the week, which was just self-serve, so anyone who needed a hand out could grab one.

    Summers always go by super fast.

    1. What did you teach, Melanie? Did you leave teaching to become a freelance writer? It sounds like a dream job to me, but I'm sure no job is perfect, right?

  2. Your classrooms is gorgeous and yes, you are still cool. :)

  3. Love you blog Mrs. Scott! You are a great teacher! I always admired your organization in class :-) and your beautiful handwriting!

  4. Aw shucks, Brittni. Thank you. You were a pretty awesome student too, you know that?

  5. I was a high school English teacher for 16 years, but I didn't survive the state budget cuts a few years ago. I still freelance, but I'm actually a medical writer.

    I just read your Jo Ann post and I remember so much of that. Do you remember when Robbie busted my head open with a baseball bat and I had to get a massive number of stitches and wear a turban for weeks? I feel certain he wound up in prison!

    1. I don't remember that particular incident with Robbie, but I remember lots of others. He was a scary kid. I remember one time my mom was on her way to his house to tell his mom about something he did and he pushed her down. I agree with you. I'm pretty sure he is in prison by now too. Sad. His mom was such a sweet person too.

  6. If you don't already have plans for your grid, may I recommend electrical tape? That's what I used for a whiteboard grid the year I interned as a middle school English teacher & it worked so well! Your room is looking great! Good luck finishing up details before school! :)

    1. Megan, that is a great idea. I've seen a lot of teachers that have done that as well. It comes in a lot of different colors too!

  7. I know this is a few years old....did the contact paper hold up? AND about how much did you need to cover your desk. I found a roll at walmart with 75' for about 15.00

    1. Susan, It did hold up well, but I don't remember how much I ended up using. I bought a lot of it because I also used it to cover a filing cabinet and some shelves on my bookcases.