How to downsize? Moving to a much smaller classroom.

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Caesar753, May 30, 2012.

  1. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 30, 2012

    I'd love to hear your advice and tips for downsizing. Rumor has it that next year I'll be moving out to the portables. The portable classrooms are about 2/3 the size of my current classroom, maybe a little smaller. I will have access to half as many storage devices (one filing cabinet instead of two, two bookshelves instead of four, one wardrobe instead of two). I have a lot of arts and crafts items and a lot of student supplies that I've purchased over the years at penny sales (tons and tons of highlighters, pencils, pens, bottles of glue, erasers, etc.).

    How on earth can I consolidate this stuff and make it fit into a much smaller space? I really hate to have to leave things at home, but if that's my only option I'll have to do it.
     
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  3. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    May 30, 2012

    Bummer! If you have a whiteboard, look for (or build) bookshelves that are shallow and just fit under the board. I have some that I got at CVS (of all places) years ago that are just two shelves and only 9" deep, and they nestle under the board quite nicely. Think about going vertical as much as possible. My computer cart (for the one computer in the room) has one of those elfa-style wire shelf units on top of it; it's assembled so that there's room for the monitor beneath the first shelf. There are three more shelves above that are only about 8" apart because this is a 30" tall unit, but you could easily put a taller one on top of a desk as long as it's against a wall. I keep plastic paper trays and my DVD player on mine, but you could also put quite a few plastic shoeboxes with arts and crafts, etc. Actually, if you put your filing cabinet with one side tucked against a wall, you could put a shelf unit on top of that, too. You might want to add an earthquake strap to the top, and you could even make a canvas cover to go over the whole thing to make it look less cluttered. If you don't use the whole length of the file drawer in your desk, you can place a plastic shoebox at the back so that the short ends straddle the edges of the drawer--I do that to store things like index cards, and I still have room underneath for smaller plastic boxes for printer ink, shaped post-its, etc.

    Moving rooms is a challenge, but just think how organized you'll be at the start of next year! :woot:
     
  4. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I'm going from 912 sf to 540 sf.

    What's a wardrobe?
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    [​IMG]
     
  6. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Are temporary classrooms trailers? Are they at least still giving you the laptops?
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    We have a sort of permanent installation of portables/trailers.

    Yes, the laptops are mine. The person in charge of the laptops already stopped by my room with a special lock that should hopefully secure the cart. :lol:
     
  8. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Well at least you still get the cart. I would say focus on storing vertically (stackable boxes, shelves, etc). Maybe check yard sales for some cabinets. See if you could secure some extra storage space somewhere else where you could stick a cabinet (with a lock).
     
  9. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Are your classes going to fit in a portable? I know you've posted that you have 40+ in a class. I was in a portable this year and it was crowded with 20 students.

    As far as storage, I found it helped to streamline as much as possible and not have visual clutter. Organization will be key. Can you get bins to put inside the wardrobe to hold glue and such?
     
  10. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I agree with going vertical. I use those crates that can hold file folders and stack these on top of my file cabinet.

    I have used siding to make bookshelves (ledges) for below my dry erase board and above my bookshelves.
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Our portables can hold 36 students, per the fire department. That feels really crowded, but it's legal. I'm hoping that the move to the portable will mean that my classes get reduced in size out of necessity.
     
  12. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Gee, you get screwed on DC and now they move you to a smaller classroom. Hmmmmmm.
     
  13. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Do you have bins for the wardrobe? I had to store ALL of my supplies in something similar... labeled plastic bins/pencil boxes made it much easier to store & locate.

    Go through your files and get rid of anything you haven't used in the last three years. Or if you're feeling crazy, switch to a binder system over the summer and get rid of the files all together.

    Will you be allowed to bring in your own bookshelves? We aren't allowed to have any furniture of our own in the classrooms.
     
  14. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    PURGE! PURGE! PURGE!

    Go vertical.

    Create storage areas under tables by putting a long tablecloth over them.

    If you have desks for students, treat them as tables and use the insides to store your things.
     
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Yep. I specifically asked the outgoing DC if he thought that they were trying to push me out. He said no, he didn't think that was happening. He pointed out that I am regularly asked to do a prep buyout and will most likely do one again next year and he said that they don't give those to people they don't like. He might be right about that, I don't know. I can tell you that all these things don't feel very good pile one on top of the other.
     
  16. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I will also add that as slighted as I'm feeling about the department chair thing, I don't feel that this move to the portables was meant to be another poke at me. The rest of my department made the move out to the portables last year. I was spared at that time because my classes were too large to fit in the portables. I think that they want the whole department together, which makes sense. I honestly don't mind the move to the portables, although I am worried about the lack of storage space out there.
     
  17. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Ahhhhhh ok. Still bites. :/
     
  18. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    May 31, 2012

    What's a "prep buyout"?
    And I hope you find the move a better thing...I agree, go vertical. And purge. I purged a few years ago when I was thinking of leaving my school to go work for another school, and it was truly liberating. I ended up wishing I'd saved only a couple of things, and they were relatively easily redo-able.
     
  19. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    A prep buyout is where a teacher gives up a prep/planning period in exchange for taking on another teaching section. Usually this is done because of heavy enrollment in a particular course. Because prep time is guaranteed to teachers in my district per our contract, the school has to compensate me for giving up my prep time, and the payoff is substantial--several thousand dollars per year.
     
  20. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    Wow, I've taught an extra class a few times and didn't get compensated for it...private school, but still...I think I will ask about this!

     
  21. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Aug 22, 2012

    I'm pulling this thread back up because I'm almost finished getting my portable ready for the year.

    It wasn't as difficult as I though it would be to downsize. Basically I just sort of purged as I packed my old room and then again when I unpacked the new room. I collected two huge totes of materials (books and organizational items, mostly) that I no longer want and put them in the staff lounge for any teachers who might want them. I discovered that I had several bins/totes with similar items, so I consolidated those into single bins. I made a very substantial donation of school supplies to a local shelter for women and children. I have a few more school supplies that I'm going to give away to my upper level students during the first week of school. I put up a few of my posters but left most of them at home (so that the walls wouldn't look cluttered). I recycled a lot of papers, mostly old paperwork/banking info for my club and class sets of worksheets and handouts. I hated to throw out the worksheets and handouts, but I just didn't have the space for them. I'll make new copies when I need them this year. As for my arts and crafts stuff, I have some plans to use those things up during the first few weeks of school with some art projects.

    All in all, I'm pretty pleased with how things turned out. It feels good to have purged so much stuff. This move seems to have been good for me.
     
  22. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Glad you're feeling good about the move. Do you know how many students you'll have in each class? I'm really hoping this move means more reasonable class sizes for you.
     

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