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  #1  
Old 08-22-2011, 02:30 PM
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Trendy_Teacher Trendy_Teacher is offline
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New Teacher Inherits Nasty Classroom!!!

Hi All! I am a new teacher who is very excited about my first year! I am having a problem with the classroom though! The old teacher left EVERYTHING up and didn't clean her desk (all her personal items are EVERYWHERE) or ANYTHING off when she left (she resigned). There are literally dust bunnies and cobwebs hanging off chairs and mold in the sink where she let the paint brushes sit in water over the summer. There is paint on the walls, and it's just awful! There is YEARS worth of unorganized "stuff" and the manipulatives and shelves really need a revamping. I am sick with sinus and allergy infection b/c I went in and cleaned up this past week. We have quite a large allotment for the school year to spend on classroom supplies and stuff. I don't know what to keep or throw away though.
Since everything is so messy (just thrown into boxes, no labels), I feel like tossing it and starting new, but I don't know if I could/should.
And I don't like the round tables in the room and the wooden shelves are just nasty. Where does all this stuff go when a new teacher doesn't need it or wants to upgrade/replace things?
Don't get me wrong, I am happy to finally have my dream job, but I can't be at my full potential until I clean this room thoroughly enough so I won't get sick (I'm a very clean person). I also don't want my kids to get sick. I want to talk to my Principal about it, but feel like maybe he will think I am out of place as a new teacher. What do I do?
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  #2  
Old 08-22-2011, 03:12 PM
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Marci07 Marci07 is offline
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7th/8th Grade Math
Does the school have a storage room? All the schools I've been at have one. I went through the same thing last year. The room was really bad. I just dumped everything in boxes, taped them, put the teacher's name on it and asked the maintenance crew to bring them to the basement (storage room).

I probably could have sorted out some stuff but I just didn't have the time or energy and if would have taken me a long time to really sort things out.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:05 PM
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SuperFudge SuperFudge is offline
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Wisconsin
As a former first year teacher who inherited a classroom from a retired teacher.......THROW IT OUT!!! I tried to keep it to see if I could use it, and I ended up discarding about 99% of her old junk at the end of the first year.
Start new. You don't have time to sort through it all. You have lesson plans to write, meetings to attend, students to get to know, forms to create, etc, etc, etc. Dump it in the garbage and move on
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:11 PM
jen12 jen12 is offline
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Wow! I've subbed in rooms like that and there's definitely a link to the disorganization of "stuff" and the behavior of the sudents. I'd throw it all into boxes organized the best you can and maybe invite the other teachers to pick through. It might make you some brownie points with them and thin out the suff. Then you can go through what's left and see what you can use and what you need to add.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:46 PM
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mom2sands mom2sands is offline
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She works hard for her money!
I inherited a nasty classroom my first year too. There was a teacher there for one year before me, but before her the teacher had been there for 30 years! Half of the room was full 2/3 of the way up to the ceiling after the janitors slid everything over to clean the floors. There were mimeographed worksheets and LP records and a record player. There were felt board pieces that looked like silverfish or moths had gotten to them. It was disgusting. I got rid of a ton of things and was congratulated for "clearing out" the room! This is my fourth year coming up and I probably only have 10% of what was left orginally!
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:43 AM
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BioAngel BioAngel is offline
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If you can teach with it, keep it. Put the item in some area that you will sort through later. Once you do start the sorting process, decide how you will organize the items you're keeping (bins, zip-lock bags, poster boxes, bookshelves, etc).

If you can't teach with it, toss it. I keep a large, tear-proof, black garbage bag and I just toss out anything I really do not need.

If its moldy, smells, damaged-- throw it out.

If it is an educational tool that is useable but you don't teach that topic, offer it up to other teachers. I take a picture of the item(s) and e-mail the faculty school-wide with what the item(s) is/are and if they want it. I give them 48 hours and then it gets tossed.

Any personal items from previous teacher-- toss in box, write name on box, and ask the maintenance crew/your principal where it can go.

Good luck!
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:44 AM
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BioAngel BioAngel is offline
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Oh-- and for health issues, you might want to wear a face mask and goggles (not kidding). If you have an air purifier, I would bring that in and let it run until your room is completely cleaned up.
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“The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
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  #8  
Old 08-23-2011, 09:42 AM
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Trendy_Teacher Trendy_Teacher is offline
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LOL BioAngel! I actually went out and bought a face mask and some more gloves! Didn't think about the goggles, but I have some old ones from science class I will have to pull out!
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:45 AM
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Thanks everyone! It is good to know that I can get rid of this stuff! I want my kids to be in a safe, CLEAN environment so that I can teach and they can learn effectively.
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  #10  
Old 08-23-2011, 12:22 PM
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DrivingPigeon DrivingPigeon is offline
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2nd Grade Teacher
My advice: do a very quick sort. Have 3 piles: keep, toss, give away. Don't spend a lot of time making decisions-go with your gut.

At my school we place furniture we no longer want in the hallway for the custodians to put in storage. Unwanted items go in the teacher's lounge for anyone to take.
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