Today I am finally going in to set up my new classroom. In June, the classroom I'm moving into looked like this:
|Furniture belongs to second grade.|
|Some of my classroom library moved early.|
|The lockers were (hopefully) torn out over the summer. Also, not my furniture.|
|I will also have to think about how the room looks from the street.|
I want to focus this week on setting up the room before I do anything else, so that I can do my planning and prepping next week in a room that is basically ready (or at least clean). I also want to take the opportunity of a new room to rethink some of the ways my old room was set up. I need to think about traffic patterns, but some of that won't happen until we have middle school meetings next week.
For the last few years, I have purposely started with a blank space. The only thing on the walls has been my READ poster with Nathan Fillion and the calendar/schedules/emergency procedures. I like this. I like that the students and I fill the space together, and that it reflects our learning. I like that our space is clean and fresh when we begin, and I also know that by the end of the year it will be full. This will be the first year that the middle school doesn't have lockers in our classrooms, and I LOVE that I'm getting back all that wall space. I look forward to filling that space with our sentence strips and anchor charts.
I've been thinking, probably too much, about some of the really beautiful, tricked-out classroom reveals that I'm seeing on Pinterest. The spaces represent hours and hours (and hours!) of work by really dedicated teachers. As someone who trained for high school and not elementary instruction, I've never really understood classroom themes. It's not my thing, I guess. But the more I try to put students at the center of my classroom and my curriculum, the less comfortable I am with those spaces. If our students are the curriculum, then how can I have a finished space when we begin? How is there space for every child when the room is done, and the child gets a desk and one clip for best work on the wall? How does that work?
Still Reading: Life after Life by Kate Atkinson. It's terrific. I also took a little break this weekend and read a few new romances. Brain candy.