How Early Do You Return?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by YoungTeacherGuy, Jul 30, 2018.

  1. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Our teachers don't officially return until next Thursday, August 9th. However, I've had at least 8-10 teachers already stop by and ask for their keys (in my district, teachers can't keep their keys over the summer). Personally, I was one of those teachers who'd start working in my room at least 2-3 weeks prior to my contracted start time. While everyone else was frantically setting up bulletin boards, I preferred to be sitting at my desk working on lesson plans.

    Do you wait until your first official contracted day to start working in your room? Or are you an early bird?
     
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  3. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    Our site's math team is reporting back a (paid) day early for a departmental work day. That will be on the 13th, and I doubt if I'll stop by earlier than that.
     
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  4. cocobean

    cocobean Companion

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    The first day we can pick up our keys is today. First contracted day is Aug. 6, first day of school is Aug. 8. I’m on vacation though, so I won’t be back in my classroom until Friday!
     
  5. whizkid

    whizkid Cohort

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    Going back Wed and not a day sooner.
     
  6. phillyteacher

    phillyteacher Comrade

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    We often are not able to get into our buildings over the summer. Typically our principal has started letting us in to set up a couple days prior to our official return, but it depends what's going on as far as maintenance work and cleaning.
     
  7. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    That's the reason we have to collect everyone's keys on the last day of school (maintenance, cleaning, and other projects). However, teachers know when we (admin) come back to work. We returned on July 23rd and that's the day they started calling, texting, and stopping by.
     
  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Teachers return Aug 6. I will be there with bells on and not a day earlier :)
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    We don't have any mandatory days before the students start. I could, in theory, show up that morning not having been in all summer. We don't officially have access to our rooms until the week before school starts, but can usually get in starting mid-August. I'll spend somewhere between 15 and 20 hours in my classroom before school starts. I don't usually need that much time, but I'm changing up quite a few things this coming year. A couple of my colleagues will spend 3-4 hours getting ready and others will already be clambouring to get in.
     
  10. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    We return on August 21st. Because of construction this year, we aren’t allowed to come in early.
     
  11. Been There

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    What I liked about being a special ed. resource teacher was that I never had to go in early to set up my room. I just showed up on the first day of school and spent the first few days unpacking and organizing my stuff. I had about a week to get settled, conduct assessments, consult with teachers, plan lessons, develop a schedule and visit my students in their classrooms before I began providing intervention.
     
  12. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    September 4. Still more than a month away. 1 week left in summer school.
     
  13. Teacher234

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    For my school year classroom, I return in early September.
     
  14. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I usually go in a few days a week or two early. Sometimes I'll go in three times two weeks before school starts and leave that last week free. We keep our keys though, so we're free to come and go as we please. I went in a few times in June too.
     
  15. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    We go back this upcoming Monday the 6th. The students will return on Thursday. Up until last year I was like the OP - at least 1 week prior I would make several visits to my classroom, making sure everything was functional, printed things and made copies for the first few days. This in addition to the many, many days I had already spent on lesson plans at home. On top of it, the last 3 years I had to set up my classroom, because one year my classroom was torn down (old portable) and got a new one, the other two years we all had to because we moved schools (and then moved back).
    This for me meant putting away the many books in dozens of boxes, put up all my signs and posters, fill up my filing cabinets with my teacher - stuff. Kinda makes me frustrated now that I think about it that we had to do that on our own time. Yes, I could have waited until the kids return and have them help me, but that's no way to start the new year.

    This year I don't have any of that stress. I will be teaching independent study, and I will be sharing a classroom with a few teachers; we will be working out of cubicles. So I will still have to set up my little area and figure everything out, but I will have enough time during the 3 days before the kids come back. The entire school is completely in disarray because another school is joining us and almost all the teachers switched classrooms (so yes, for the 4th time I had to break down my classroom last year)

    But, I have no stress, and I'm so happy :)
     
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  16. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    We get access two weeks before professional development. I usually head back in then for a few reasons. One, we don’t get any paid time to set up our rooms or get ready. PTO does fundraisers to give the teachers money for school supplies, which is great for parents because they don’t have to buy anything, but that means I have to go shop for everything and get it all organized before the first day (more unpaid work). Second, since I’m doing all of this unpaid, I’d rather go in for a few hours at a time and still enjoy some of my summer days than work super long hours the last few days of summer. Third, I have to take my kids with me to set my room up, and at 5 and 9, they just can’t hang 9-10 hours at a time!
     
  17. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I used to put in two weeks before contract started. I'm down to a day and a half. Honestly, I'm tempted to just go in when my contract starts this year, under the theory that if admin wants it done, they'll make sure I have the time to do it.
     
  18. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Today was the first day that our building was open, and I was there. I’ll go in one or two more times before my contract starts. First official day for staff is Aug. 8. First day for students is Aug. 14. I go in early because I get anxious and stressed if I don’t. I don’t like giving up extra days in the summer, but it’s worth it to me in order to ward off my anxiety. I like being able to plan lessons while others are scrambling to set up their rooms. For the first time in my career, I’ve had the same room for more than one year (going on year three). It’s amazing how much easier it is to set up when you don’t have to unpack boxes and when you already know where everything goes.
     
  19. Been There

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    I wonder how the system would respond if ALL teachers reported to work on the first day of their contract - i.e. they refrained from going in early. Do you think they would allocate a few prep days prior to opening day? We make it soooo easy for them! Just wondering . . .
     
  20. Ima Teacher

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    Our first official contract day is one day before the kids arrive. We have to go early if we want to do anything because that day is full of meetings.

    I go in as soon as I can. Usually our rooms are ready by July 4th. I live close to school, so I’ll go in a little here and there. This year I spent one whole day and a couple of hours a few more times.
     
  21. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I typically don't go in early. We get two full work days before students come in. I don't need more time than that to set up my room. This year, we are moving into a new building and I may have chosen to come in early since starting from scratch is different from just setting up my old room, but of course construction is behind so they aren't letting us. Some of our teachers would take weeks to set up their classrooms when we weren't moving buildings. We were originally told that we could probably come in around mid-July. Now, no one is allowed in before the official work days start. I imagine many of our teacher are losing their minds right now.
     
  22. otterpop

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    That's amazing. We go back a few days early but it's all professional development - no time in our rooms at all.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
  23. flairpen

    flairpen Rookie

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    We work the four days before students, but can get into our classrooms about a month before school starts (we keep our keys and get the go ahead once our classrooms are ready). We do organizational stuff for part of the morning on two days and are left with about three days for classroom setup, planning, and prep. I'm going to go in a bit at a time before our official start date to have the copier all to myself and do some decorating.
     
  24. Pi-R-Squared

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    I wanted my room rearranged so I’ve been back a few times. In-service officially starts Thursday but there is an optional technolology PD (Google classroom stuff, Chromebooks, etc....) that will be held Wednesday.
     
  25. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Last year, one of the buildings in our district was in a similar situation - a lot of new construction and renovation. Teachers were told that they could get in on the first contract day, but, construction was so behind schedule that the teachers from that building had to come work in our building for the first few contract days. They couldn't actually get into their classrooms and start setting up until the day before students arrived. They seemed very stressed for obvious reasons, but it all worked out.
     
  26. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    We are told that we get time in our classrooms to work before the kids come, and we do. But it's not "protected" time. It's a few hours here and there that often end up being used for last minute or impromptu meetings. If I knew that I had protected time, I might not stress so much. Knowing that I might lose time that's on the schedule, though, is enough to make me feel like it's worth going in early.

    I do think that we should have contracted time for setting up our rooms and working on our own, but I also understand that every teacher has different priorities and standards for our classrooms. As has been stated here, some teachers need weeks while others only need a few hours or a single day. I also kind of like going in on non-contracted time because not many people are around. It gives me an opportunity to work in peace, with few distractions. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people show up to start working on their classrooms, but then they start socializing (distracting others) instead, only to later complain about not getting anything done in their room.
     
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  27. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    We have plenty of time to work in our rooms on our work days, but I like setting things up on my own time and schedule. I like using those first days to just relax, make sure everything is in order, and catch up with everyone. I like going at a much more leisurely pace. Plus, by the end of summer, I'm totally ready to get back to work! I'm always itching to get started.
     
  28. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    My new teacher orientation runs from the 14th to the 16th. I think teachers come back on the 27th and school starts on the 29th.

    My principal said that he knows what room I am in and he is not sure if it is cleaned. I am planning on emailing him to see if I can come by and see it sometime next week! I'm living at home for a few more weeks and my school is an hour drive from here so I don't want to go more than a few times before new teacher orientation, but it would be nice to be all set up early.
     
  29. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Our new building was "ready" for us to occupy at 9:00 am the Friday before school started. We looked like an army of ants carrying everything in, and it was crazy-busy, but we did it.
     
  30. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    A few years ago, our district opened a new school. I remember teachers being stressed out because school started on a Wednesday and they weren't able to get into their rooms until Monday (two days before). Lo and behold, classrooms looked beautiful for opening day (I saw pictures posted on our district Facebook page). I'm like you, though: I like working at my own pace without distractions.
     
  31. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    I start back on August 6th. Students the 9th. My last week of bumming it.
     
  32. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
  33. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Wow, you guys are amazing. I didn't know some schools started in August! :O I start September 5th, and I am really, really hoping August goes by slowly. Lol! :D
     
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  34. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
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  35. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    I'm two weeks until we start, but my room might have ac already, so I'm thinking it might not be a bad idea to go in...maybe next week.
     
  36. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    I like going in early. It feels so good to be ready and not having to rush to do it. I've had a year or two where we couldn't get in early due to construction. It wasn't as fun setting up when it felt so rush, rush, rush.
     
  37. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I usually go in two weeks before school starts, get to an almost ready point, then stay away until contract time.
     
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  38. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    This is what I do, too. We have 1 contracted day before students start, and our day is full of PD and meetings. If I want my room ready, I have to go in on my own time. So I go in 2 weeks early, get everything ready, and then use my final week of summer to relax.
     
  39. ssgirl11

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    We go back August 20th for PD, Open House is also on August 20th. I will be going in next week so I know I will have plenty of time to set up. I'm getting pretty restless around the house, anyway!o_O
     
  40. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Merging can be very annoying. My school had to merge with the early childhood learning program (which used to be a separate building). It turned out fine and it allowed me to teach 2nd-4th grade instead of 3rd-4th grade. I have taught this particular class for five or six years so far.
     
  41. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    We start the last week of August in terms of teacher days, and then school starts after the 3-day Labor Day weekend.

    Honestly, I go in throughout the summer: I specifically choose the days that are not as hot (no AC) so I don't roast in the portable. My wife still works much of the summer, and for me, I enjoy the quiet/relaxed/no pressure time to rethink things and to reorganize things.

    Granted, next year, with our school being demolished the day after school ends, and possibly not getting into our new building until very close to school...this might not happen, but I always try to go in at least a handful of times, perhaps up to about 10 days, throughout the summer.

    I'll agree with others with the thought that all of us educators are wildly different in our personalities, approach, etc... I think it's important to honor that fact. There will always be some teachers who report to work on the first day of the contract, and there will always be those that are adamant about the contract meeting those needs. To not allow teachers to go beyond that would be silly, though.
     
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