Help/Advice Please!

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by Happy_Worker, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. Happy_Worker

    Happy_Worker New Member

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    Aug 17, 2008

    Hello all.

    This is my very first post on this forum. I am so glad to have found this place. I have spent the last week as a lurker here--looking at various threads for ideas and suggestions.

    I am a first year teacher in Texas. I will be teaching 5th grade self-contained in a very low SES school. The school however is BRAND new. Two older schools closed and combined into the new school. So all of the materials/books/etc. from the old schools were moved to the new school.

    I am an alternative certification candidate and never did any student teaching (this first year is my internship). I did sub for 6 months though.

    I'm very worried about things. I'm not sure what materials to keep. I'm not sure how to do my lesson plans, because I'm not sure what books to use (not sure what books the other 5th grade teachers use). And I know I have to teach the TEKS (for our state standardized tests)--but I have no idea what TAKS materials the other teachers use. There is so much "crap" in my room, that I can't tell what's what! :(

    My main concern is that I have so many boxes in my room. I have unpacked most of them and trashed the boxes, but I still have about 20 more boxes to unpack (not too bad I guess). However, in each of those boxes were SOOOO many books from the 2 older schools. I probably have at least 200 or more books for EACH SUBJECT (English, Science, Social Studies, and History).

    The other teachers in my grade don't seem to have the same number of books/boxes in their rooms. Also, it seems as if the boxes accumulated day after day (meaning--that boxes began appearing in my room that weren't there the first day).

    My mentor and other veteran teacher are awesome!! :) However, I haven't had the chance to sit down and talk with them. They have offered to go through the books with me to determine which books to keep and which ones not to keep, but I'm afraid that they might get too busy and not have time to help me out.

    Meet the teacher night is THIS THURSDAY--and I still have so much to do. I even have to set up the Science Lab which I am very nervous about, because there is WAY TOO much stuff to sort though, and I really don't know HOW to set up a lab. It's been over 2 years since I've been in a lab! :(

    Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can keep or what I should throw away!?? I don't want to get into trouble for throwing away stuff. However, there is no way I can store all of these books in my room.

    I just thought I would see what everyone here would do if they were in my position.

    Thanks for reading!
     
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  3. dovian

    dovian Comrade

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    Aug 18, 2008

    There must be a book closet or supply room somewhere - although it sounds like maybe other people are using your room for that purpose! Ask around, and also see if you can get more shelving if they say you need to hold on to stuff. I would start with the books that are most recent editions and that are in the best condition, at least for history/science, and put the rest away somewhere (even if "away" is in boxes in your room.) If there are independent-reading type books, keep the nice ones as the basis for your class library. Everything else can go back in boxes until either a) someone tells you where to put them or b) you realize you need to use them.

    You might also, when you get a chance, pick up a book, walk around to others in your department/grade, and say, "Do you need any of these? I have a whole set in my room . . ." This will either get them to tell you that nobody uses them, get them back to their rightful owners (as people might have misplaced some stuff in the move) or at the very least get them to tell you where to put them that's not your room.
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Aug 18, 2008

    Are all those books textbooks or are some for your library? I would find out which texts are being used at the school, unpack them and shelve them. Find the teacher guides and look through them. Any additional materials (maybe reference stuff, fiction, printables, etc.) could be left in boxes.

    Who left you all this stuff, the former teacher? Put what you don't want in the hallway. You don't really have enough time to go through it all first.
     
  5. SouperTeach

    SouperTeach Companion

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    Aug 18, 2008

    I second what upsadaisy said about putting the stuff in the hallway. A custodian may come and either trash it or put it in the storage room. At the very least, someone will come and ask you what all the stuff is and you can tell them its stuff you don't need in the room. Then they can tell you what you should do with it.
     
  6. Happy_Worker

    Happy_Worker New Member

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    Aug 18, 2008

    Thank you all!

    Luckily for me, one of my fellow 5th grade teachers stayed and helped me trash a BUNCH of those books!! There are still quite a few left--but tomorrow we have a work day and I will spend all day sorting through the books and getting my room ready for open house this Thursday.

    Thank you all for responding! :hugs::2up:
     

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