How long would it take you...

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by ZoomZoomZOOM, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    ...to set up a brand new room? And let's say this was your first year teaching and you're not absolutely sure what you're doing. :D

    To give you an idea what I'm up against, there's a ton of "mystery boxes" that need to be unpacked, and tons of furniture. This is a brand new room so right now, everything is a mess with boxes and furniture everywhere. I've been told that I can give a sketch to maintenance and they will move all the furniture in place ahead of time. I also plan on taking a couple of teacher friends with me to help the day I go in to get started. It's a pretty good sized room and I'll be teaching K-3 resource.
     
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  3. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Ooooh, good question, zoom! I'm looking forward to reading the responses!
     
  4. etcetera83

    etcetera83 Cohort

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    I was hired on a Wednesday afternoon. The next night was Meet the Teacher. I got in my room at 7:30 the next morning and like you faced random boxes and furniture. I worked until 4:30 that afternoon. Janitors brought instudent desks and thankfully my instructional coach laminated and cut stuff out for me. It wasn't just exactly how I wanted it, but it was ready for students that night. Jeesh!
     
  5. teach_each1

    teach_each1 Comrade

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    I'd have to unpack all the boxes first to see how much of each "area stuff" I'd have.

    Set the opened boxes in the room in about the area you want them (like you're staging it).

    Then move in the furniture and unpack a section at at time.

    Get all the stuff on the selves first then go back and sort-organize and display.
     
  6. Calalilys

    Calalilys Comrade

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    I'd give yourself a week to get your room put together. That gives you plenty of time to sort through your boxes, organize the material, move your furniture, put up your bulletin boards, and just finalize everything else that comes up during that time. In my opinion, it's better to have more time than not enough because than you're just rushing to get it done, rather than doing it to your liking the first time around.
     
  7. buck8teacher

    buck8teacher Devotee

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    I got hired in early August last year and inherited some mystery things myself. The first thing I did was just spending type in other teachers rooms, seeing how they had things organized. Then I went through my mystery boxes, and sorting out what I wanted and what I didn't want. Then I started organizing my things, area by area. This took awhile and I didn't get to go through all of the stuff left by the teacher that left.

    With bulletin boards, first week planning, decorating, organizing, arranging, it took me about two weeks. Of course, I took my time and didn't do 8 hours every day. But if you have the time, use it! There have been some great threads of classroom pics on here, and those helped me so much. I will probably spend a lot of time organizing my room this upcoming year b/c I have a much better idea of how I would like for things to be organized.
     
  8. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    It takes me TWO weeks usually! I have to sift through everything and I have a kind of short attention span so I wander from task to task. But I also hate extra stuff and clutter unless it is hidden, so I have had to do a lot of work.
     
  9. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    This year will be my sixteenth year. I always work in my room at least three weeks before school starts.
     
  10. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    It takes as long as you let it.

    I had 2 days to move into my room my first year. (School had already started.)

    Many summers I take 2 -3 weeks.
     
  11. lcluigs03

    lcluigs03 Cohort

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    2 weeks here too! i do a lot of cleaning though. it's amazing how dusty everything gets over the year. i take my time and enjoy the process.
     
  12. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    I usually take 2 weeks also. The more time you spend before school- the better you will feel when the kids get there.

    I have inherited 2 rooms like you describe, and with the first I only had a week to get it in tip top shape. The one I have now took me about 2 weeks. I like having the time to re-arrange things and try different things out.
     
  13. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I think it would take me about 3 weeks the first time in a classroom - with mystery boxes. It always takes me that long, anyway, because I change everything around and purge files, clean, rearrange and rearrange and rearrange again.
     
  14. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    We usually have a week to get the room ready without facing random boxes. Of course that is with workshops in the way as well. I would give yourself 2 weeks.
     
  15. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    It takes a good two weeks to get a room really ready. Having teacher friends there as a support and help is a great idea!

    One thing caught my attention. You are going to be a reource teacher. Are you going to be simply meeting with small groups all day? I did that my first year in kindergarten when my school needed a teacher, but had no classrooms. The first thing you need to do is sort through those mystery boxes. Anything that you know you won't use....find someone else who can use it. The items that you do want to use, set them aside so you can organize them by area after you have the furniture set up.

    Once you have gone through all of those boxes, start setting up the furniture. If you have a kidney shaped table where you will do small group work you will need to do the "I can see you test." Sit at the table and make sure you can see everything in the classroom. Having bind spots can be a major problem when it comes to behavior management during center/station time.

    General rule of thumb. Take room set up one step at a time. Bring in a radio and enjoy the process.
     
  16. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Great point!! I totally agree!

    This year I inherited a room that has had a long term sub several years in a row, so stuff had just piled up for years! I found 6 year old tardy slips and 4 year old grade cards! Ugh! It took me three days to get my room ready (and that was with my two teenagers helping one full day). At the end of the year, we moved to a new school and it took about two days to unpack and get everything sorted and ready. The room isn't exactly 'ready.' I will be teaching somewhere else (hopefully!) next year, so I didn't really 'decorate' the room.

    I would say that if you're pressed for time, about 3 full days is a good time frame. You can always add things later if you need to!
     
  17. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Queenie,
    How does a classroom have a long-term sub for several years in a row? That sounds horrible to me! (Just curious - no judgment of you!)
     
  18. mbboss

    mbboss Rookie

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    Like a lot of others, I give myself 2-3 weeks so that I'm so flustered and I have time to make copies, chat with my neighbors, ect. It's better to allot more time than needed, so you dont get stressed out. Good luck!
     
  19. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Jun 24, 2008

    It takes me at least 2 weeks. It takes a long time to get everything organized, but the more time I put in before school starts, the smoother things go when school begins.

    I also purge and clean during this time. I have learned that it is best, for me, to just put put paper and borders on most of the bulleting boards, and not try to decorate evey one of them. This saves a lot of time and gives the room more of a clear look.

    You also have to factor in your stamina level. I work hard for 2 weeks, and I am beat at the end of the day! And you have to remember that other teachers will be stopping by to meet you and this sometimes takes up a lot of time!
     
  20. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I was in your shoes last school year. I hate all the mystery boxes & wondering what's in all those file drawers! I was a special ed teacher, so I had an aide to help me. The walls were completely bare. I think it took us about a couple wks & we worked a good amt of hrs each day. We had a pretty good sized room too. I didn't have to see any students before my room wasn't ready.

    Fortunately, back when I was student teaching, I took photos of my co-op teachers' rooms, so I kinda had a certain vision of how I wanted it to look rather than absolutely no idea.

    Good luck!
     
  21. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    I walked into my first classroom three days before school started with everything, and I mean everything, in boxes in the center of the room. I had the room ready to go in three days. I did have a teacher help me for part of one day. I also got advise on what to keep accessable from more experienced teachers. I would prefer at least a week of free time to do my room.
     
  22. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    My teacher coaches volley ball camp and believe it or not but she leaves the room totally up to me during the first prep week. It has pros and cons. One week is not a long time for ONE person to get it in order especially when the stuff isn't really yours. It is nice, however, to have complete say in how things are organized and know where things are. The biggest con is all those misc stuff I KNOW came from other teachers or she hasn't used in the 3 years I've known her BUT I'm not allowed to throw it out because the stuff isn't mine. She doesn't go through it so we end up with too much junk and me trying to make room for it. That was a BIG problem last year when we consolidated 2 rooms into 1 room. Sigh.
     
  23. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Well, in our area, teachers are hired mainly according to seniority, and a position MUST be filled within 2 days of school starting. Apparently, teachers bid out of positions late in the summer for other positions and leave the old positions empty at the last minute. Since a board meeting has to be held AFTER bids are placed and principals choose candidates, it seems that the past several years these positions have been hired, but not in time for the teacher to take the position until the following year. By then, the teacher has either bid on another position at a different school or been RIF'd and replaced with a teacher who has also been RIF'd but with more seniority. So principals have no choice but to hire long term subs to fill in for the year. So I'm at least the third long term sub in a row to teach this in this particular room.

    Last year, I got offered the job about a week or so before school started and didn't actually get in the room until three days before the kids came to school. THEN, the principal thought they were going to go ahead and move the new teacher in or something. I wasn't completely sure until October that I'd be keeping the class all year. It was awful!!

    And even now, they aren't sure who's going to get the class this coming year. The teacher who won the bid last summer had to give up the position to a teacher who was RIF'd in March. If the RIF'd teacher doesn't want the job and bids on another position & gets it, the job goes back to the first teacher who won it (assuming SHE hasn't accepted another job by now!) It's completely ridiculous. No one knows from year to year where they'll be teaching the next year. Even those with contracts and low seniority canb e RIF'd!!!

    I have been bidding on jobs, but only about 12 have been posted and I haven't gotten any of them. So I won't know until a few days before school starts, most likely, if I'll have a full time position. :blush:
     
  24. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I was in a similar situation my first year teaching. I spent about three weeks going through boxes of CRAP, getting all of my teaching materials organized, setting up bulletin boards, organizing furniture, making copies, etc. Allow yourself at least two weeks. Give yourself much more time than you think is necessary! :)

    I've been teaching three years now, and I still end up spending two-three weeks in my classroom. This year, I'm sure I'll spend three weeks because I'm moving into a new classroom.

    Anyway, just to reiterate: give yourself plenty of time!!! Good luck; I'm sure you'll do fine!!! :2up:
     
  25. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    queenie:
    What is "rif"? There I go showing my ignorance again!
     
  26. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    As much as I hate the idea of it, it's entirely possible to get hired in OCTOBER here. They wait that late to let the school population numbers settle down & then see if they need new teachers. Last year, my cooperating teacher and I did not get into the classroom at all until 2 days before the students came in - and she had not been at the school at all last summer! She had been in that room for about 10 years, though, so she knew it like the back of her hand.
     
  27. jenejoy

    jenejoy Companion

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    I'm a TWO weeker as well. Last year when I had a new room and lots to unpack I was there a full 3 weeks. I've found the more organized I can be in the beginning hte more in control I feel about where everything is and it saves me time later.
     
  28. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    RIF=Reduction In Force. A teacher is rifed when a district has more teachers than they need. The teachers with lower seniority get displaced or can lose their jobs all together. The rifed teachers will get called back before new hires.
     
  29. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I see. Thanks for the clarification, cheeryteacher!
     

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