I get to see my classroom tomorrow! (Advice needed)

Discussion in 'General Education' started by MathEqualsLove, May 22, 2012.

  1. MathEqualsLove

    MathEqualsLove Companion

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    May 22, 2012

    So, I'm really excited because I just got a call saying that I can come see my classroom tomorrow while I'm in town looking at some houses for rent. The counselor said that my classroom needs some TLC and most likely some paint.

    I'm planning on taking my camera so I can take pictures of everything, but I'm not sure exactly what I should be looking for. It may be a month or more before I make another trip up there so I want to make sure I get all the pertinent information I need.

    What should I be looking for? What are the most important things I need to check?
     
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  3. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    May 22, 2012

    In addition to taking pictures, take measurements. Also see what things are already in the room, what you'll have access to through work, and what you'll need to bring yourself. Ask if you have a classroom budget.

    The measurements were important to me when I was planning my room on paper before I actually got to school. I measured all the tables, windows, student desks, teacher desk, shelves, etc.

    When my classroom needed painting, the principal bought the paint and supplies, and my husband painted the room.
     
  4. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    May 22, 2012

    Wow... I'm kind of surprised about the paint. Do you have to do it yourself? On one hand, I'm all jealous because I'd love a room that isn't bright white. On the other hand... I'd hate to have to paint my classroom.

    So: Take note of doors and windows. They are the hardest to work around if they're in awkward places. And find out about the fire codes... ours is strict; can't hang anything from the ceiling or within 18 inches of the ceiling.

    And see how much of it will *actually* remain in the room; some may belong to the current teacher; sometimes there's a free-for-all when a teacher leaves and there may be nothing left when you return.
     
  5. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    May 22, 2012

    Bring a tape measure and make a detailed diagram of the classroom if you can. Take inventory of the furniture and ask if everything staying. Maybe even ask if there is furniture in storage you could look at later in the summer. Ask what color they are painting it (maybe they will even let you pick).
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 22, 2012

    In addition to seeing YOUR classroom, take a look at some other teacher's room if you can find one still decorated-- see what tends to be the typical decorating style.

    In my experience, high school classrooms are NOT decorated to the extent that I read with about elementary classrooms.

    Know that you're going to need a LARGE chunk of bulletin board space reserved for notices-- basketball tryouts, career night, and so on. I ususally hit Walmart and buy a $5 Twin bedsheet-- the colors are great, they don't tear and they don't fade. Personally I tend to choose red or green, to make Christmas decorating easier-- but I teach in a Catholic school and we can do Christmas.


    Ask about the restrictions the fire department may have before planning to hang anything from the ceilings or in front of windows.

    Also, don't assume that you'll be the only teacher in your room. So I would be cautious about claiming every square inch.

    Take note of the technology, and ask what's typical.
     
  7. MathEqualsLove

    MathEqualsLove Companion

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    May 24, 2012

    Thank you everybody for all of the advice! I went yesterday armed with all of these ideas. I took pictures. I measured everything I could measure. I asked what would be staying, etc. The counselor gave me a tour of the school and showed me the teacher's lounge and where textbooks are stored.

    The room does need some TLC like the counselor had told me. But, I have to keep in mind that the building was built in 1919.

    It turns out that the room has actually been recently painted. But, when they painted it they skipped part of one wall. I'm assuming there was a large piece of furniture there that they didn't want to move. I'm hoping that one of the cans of paint in the cabinet will be the right color so I can fix that. If I want a different color, though, the school will purchase the paint for me, but it will be up to me to do the painting myself.

    I will have a Smart Board and a document camera. I've never used a document camera, but I think it will be very useful. There is also a mobile laptop cart that is shared with 4-5 other teachers on the floor.

    I have a 44 inch by 23 FOOT bulletin board that I need to find a way to cover. It's in really sad shape. The counselor told me that she covered hers with burlap.

    The one thing it doesn't have right now is a white board. I guess the previous teacher just used the Smart Board. But, I should be able to request one. I just have to figure out where I would want to put it...

    They still don't know exactly what math courses I will be teaching, but I should know in the next 2-3 weeks, though.
     
  8. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    May 24, 2012

    You can also paint bulletin boards. I did that in my old classroom. It covered a multitude of sins, and it was easier than fighting paper or fabric on a board as big as the one I had.
     
  9. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    May 24, 2012

    Use material to cover the bulletin boards. Some people like to use sheets too. I think it is so much easier than using paper. I had an old bulletin board in my room (I teach middle school) that after the first year I really didn't use. I asked for a white board and the old bulletin board was replaced with this white board. I love having another whiteboard!!
     
  10. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    May 24, 2012

    Congrats! I actually have a memo board sized dry erase board on an easel that works great!
     

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