Do you do this to other teachers...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Samothrace, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. Samothrace

    Samothrace Cohort

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    Mar 19, 2008

    I am an art teacher in an urban district and travel between buildings. The one building I actually have a room in, and naturally is the biggest room because of storage and messiness that comes along with an art class, so my room is used A LOT by community workers, teacher meetings etc. I can never track this down and my principal seems to care less when I bring this to her attention, but to all the classroom teachers, if you were using another teachers room would you.....

    leave stuff wrote on their board?
    leave the desks and chairs moved all over the place?
    have papers and sticky notes stuck on things and on the floor?
    food on the student work tables?
    food left on that teachers desk?
    food in the sinks?

    When I come into this buiding when I'm there every monday and wednesday there is always something! Even when I leave a nice note on the board that just says Please return all desks and chairs to where they belong. Thanks! Mrs. L :) and I put up a room arrangement of the tables and chair placements.

    It drives me up the wall and in some ways I feel it adds to the segregation that 'specials' teachers often get. Sometimes I get looked at like art, what, useless. Like I am not helping the student,s education, school environment etc. etc.

    I'm done ranting now. I guess I'm trying to stick up for all the specials out there! :)
     
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  3. TulipsGirl

    TulipsGirl Cohort

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    Mar 19, 2008

    YUCK!!! How frustrating!
    NO. no one should be leaving your room like that. I wish I had advice for you, but I don't. I have that situation at times too, (teachers use my room, for various reasons) and I'm apauled by the lack of consideration. They don't even notice b/c it's nice and clean when they come in, so it doesn't even occur to them that it should be a problem when I come in. It takes precious time to reorganize my room the way that and my students need it to be.

    My only suggestion is to be proactive. Maybe you can find out what the schedule is ahead of time for people using your room and then go up to them PERSONALLY, and say "I understand that you will be using the art room today. I'd like to ask you ahead of time to be sure to take a few minutes to return the chairs and materials to their original locations. I spend a lot of time arranging it after every meeting and I simply don't have the time to clean up after everyone. Thanks."

    I just reread your post and realized that if they are community workers, you probably won't be able to speak to them personally.
    Maybe a BRIGHT note, explaining your situation at eye level on outside of your door, and then another on the inside?

    Otherwise, you have truuly done everything you could! I sympathize.
     
  4. curious

    curious Companion

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    Mar 19, 2008

    Aww ... sorry this is happening to you. If it helps any, I'm student teaching in a 1st grade classroom this semester and think highly of specials teachers. My students come back from their specials in a wonderful mood and absolutely think the world of their specials teachers. Plus, without specials teachers, I'd have no prep time to 're-center' myself during the day, lol.
     
  5. SaraFirst

    SaraFirst Cohort

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    I always clean up after myself, but I am a bit of a neat freak. It doesn't surprise me that some people leave messes behind. Some may just be rude, or they might not even notice they are leaving a mess. I deal with a lot of "messy teachers" and they don't even seem to realize how messy they are. I would be extremely upset if someone left a mess and rearranged my desks and chairs. That is not fair to you.
     
  6. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Mar 19, 2008

    I would never leave the desk and chairs rearranged. I would put them back how I found them. I would clean up the big pieces of food, thinking the janitors would wash the tables down in the evening.
     
  7. teacherstudent1

    teacherstudent1 Companion

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    Mar 19, 2008

    Our Art teacher is also itinerant, but we rarely use her room for anything else. If we do use another teacher's room, the rule is "No one should be able to tell you were here." In other words, leave things as you find them.

    I understand the lack of space in some schools, but I feel privileged to have our specials teachers (Art, Music, PE, Computers). They are each highly talented specialists and deserve to be treated with respect, and that includes respect for their working space.

    Just my opinion...
     
  8. MsWK

    MsWK Habitué

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    Mar 19, 2008

    I'd say this is pretty typical for any area that people view as "shared." Labels and photos can work wonders. Everywhere you can, stick one so that people know exactly what goes where. Also, personalize your room. Does it look industrial in the sense that people not might think it's "your" room, but more of a communal room? If they can put your face on it, they might be more aware of what they're doing. Put a big photo on the door of you at an easel or something with a sign that says, "Mr. / Ms. So-and-so's room."
     
  9. TulipsGirl

    TulipsGirl Cohort

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    My students absolutely love their specials teachers. I am so thankful for them! Even though they have so many students I feel like they know my class so well. One of them even reports back to me to let me know when struggling kids had a great day so I can reinforce it in my room...
     
  10. Samothrace

    Samothrace Cohort

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    I would sure think they know it as the art room. The previous teacher hung none of the students work up. I try my hardest to get things hung up all over the place. I've spent way too much on bluetac since I do not have any bullentin board space in my district. They would rather see a worksheet with an A on it. Well it is encouraging to see teachers who appreciate us! They seem to come far and few between. I am constantly telling teachers when they come to pick up the kids if so and so had a great day or not a great day, or upset about something that happened in art. I always think..if I were picking up my class and a student did a 180 with their mood, I'd want to know so you don't make the situation worse! I wish elementary students got to have art more than once a week, in some districts every 2-3 weeks. They really need that creative expression. In response to Tulipsgirl, we try our best to know all the students. Some days I wish I had only 20-30 students but I have 700, but I get to see a different side to them, which is an awesome experience.
     
  11. Miss_J

    Miss_J Habitué

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    I personally think that art is a very important class that does support what we are teaching. For example, before the students begin working on a project, they must plan just like we teach them to do before writing. Art and writing go hand-in-hand in my mind. Both require you to send a message. To top it off, some children who may not excel in the general ed classroom may thrive in the art room. That feeling of success may just help them get through that very challenging math lesson that day!

    I am very sorry that your colleages are not more appreciative of your work and talent!
     
  12. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Mar 20, 2008

    It must be frustrating to have to clean up before you can teach each day. Some our our shared spaces have a sign up sheet for teachers to put their name beside the time that they need the room. It also serves as a record of who was in the room last if things aren't returned to their original condition.
     
  13. Charger

    Charger Companion

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    Mar 20, 2008

    I teach math and science in a private school. On the weekends, the church uses our classrooms for Sunday school. I usually have a problem with my desk being messed with or my classroom supplies being used. Last week, I found a large amount of my markers in their cabinet when I was straightening up.
    I know how it feels to share a room and have people feel as though they have the right to use your materials and treat your room as theirs when they are in it.
     
  14. TulipsGirl

    TulipsGirl Cohort

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    Mar 21, 2008

    That sounds like a great idea to create accountability!
     
  15. Windy City

    Windy City Companion

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    Mar 21, 2008

    I feel your pain. I am a librarian, and my library gets used nearly every day for something. People don't realize that it takes a minimum of 40 minutes to move the tables back to where they belong. And please don't get me started on the coffee cups left on top of the bookshelves, coffee stains on the carpet, and the fact that the library seems to be Office Depot because my supplies get taken.

    Now I have gotten to where I go straight up to the "leader" and tell them straightaway that I would appreciate it if they would move everything back. I make a big point of bringing the trash cans over and I have taken to having all supplies (pencils, stapler, etc..) under lock and key. After staff meetings, I jump up first and yell, "All righty, everyone please help us move the tables back".

    It sucks because I CAN'T leave the library messy in anyway because we constantly have prospective parents, administrators, and the like who tour the school, so it always needs to look nice. It's hard to clean up after everyone AND teach AND run the library.

    One thing that worked was putting masking tape on the floor where I want tables to go. Then it's obivous what goes where. You could try that for awhile and leave a note saying, "You are welcome to rearrange the room to meet your needs. Please return the tables and chairs to their original locations before you leave by following the tape on the floor. I appreciate your assistance in helping keep the room organized! :)"
     
  16. blessedhands

    blessedhands Comrade

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    Mar 21, 2008

    I think they should have respect and clean up after themselves.
     
  17. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Mar 21, 2008

    I have to deal with this every week. CCD classes are Wednesday nights, and every Thursday morning the room is a mess: chairs not stacked or stacked just anywhere, board a mess, students' materials and property messed with and sometimes destroyed. It is frustrating, but there is nothing we can do. The RE director always says things like "How do you know it wasn't another student who got into your room?" Uh, because they are looked and the students are gone by the time I leave. We had a staff meeting in my room last week and afterward I found no less than three drink bottles laying around. That's the last time I volunteer my room for a staff meeting.
     
  18. maroki

    maroki Comrade

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    Mar 21, 2008

    I would never leave another teacher's room or space in a mess. I'm pretty much a neat freak and am very careful to move everything back that I change, etc. I'm sorry people are not returning your things to their normal space!! I think the other posters have had some very good ideas. Maybe you could even leave a room set-up diagram on each table in a bright color and see if that helps.
     
  19. Samothrace

    Samothrace Cohort

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    Mar 22, 2008

    I had throught of that, but both the principal and janitor would be against having tape on the floor. Even to hang up artwork I've had to invest in like $50 worth of bluetac.
     
  20. Historyteaching

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    Mar 22, 2008

    I have a similar problem..because of construction (and lack of space in general) I have a freshman boys health class that uses my room during my planning period. Sometimes I sit in there to do work during the class. There are about 30 of them, they walk in and immediately move my desks scooting them over to their friends. I've had a note on the board for 2 days, they don't pay attention, yesterday, I was in there and the teacher sat down in one of my other 'teacher' chairs to take attendance I watched two boys move the desks, I said BOYS, Don't move my desks!! The teacher looked up and said yeah, fellas put the desks back. :mad: I usually have dried mud all over the floor after they leave, sometimes marker lines on the floor, the books are slewn out from underneath because they are rough with them and when one pulls out others do or they tip their seats. They "attempt" to put them back and always do them in straight rows, which they can see aren't that way to begin with. The teacher does tell them to pick up the books (well at least when I'M in there, who knows when I'm not) but they rarely listen. Once the teacher wasn't paying attention to the marker he grabbed and wrote on my board with a Vis a Vis marker instead of a whiteboard dry erase marker thankfully a little bit of cleaner got it off.

    I feel your pain, I heard he'll be in there always-but I'm hoping not-I get the floaters because I'm the newest in the department.
     
  21. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    Mar 22, 2008

    It's hard to believe that some people can be so inconsiderate. Does your school have some sort of calendar so you know who is going to be in your room. If so, maybe you can shoot an email to that person beforehand explaining the situation and how you would like your room left. Or maybe you can leave a letter taped to the door or board specifically for the leader of the group.
     
  22. Calliope

    Calliope Companion

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    Mar 22, 2008

    I can kind of be ugly about things like this, so bear that in mind. If it were me, I would try the overkill approach for a while. If you know a group is coming in print up sticky notes & put one on every single desk saying that the desk needs to be put back in its place, and trash should be thrown away, etc. Hang a poster across your board that says "erase the board when you are finished." A large letter on the desk on hot pink paper with a list of things to be done before leaving the room. I'd mark every single thing in the room with instructions of some kind. A list of instructions, not a kind request. You've already tried the nice approach.

    You'll get your message across, and eventually you could drop back to one poster size list of instructions hung prominently in your room.
     

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