Just saw my NEW classroom for the 1st time...It was GROSS!!!

Discussion in 'New Teachers Archives' started by Kayasmomma, Jul 28, 2005.

  1. Kayasmomma

    Kayasmomma Rookie

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    Jul 28, 2005

    I am trying to be logcial about this whole situation, but I have strong feelings!! The teacher I am taking over for was promoted to admin. By the looks of her supplies, and books, she was a veteran teacher. The books are from the 70's. She left SO much.....sorry to say, but...CRAP in my room. Though some of the resources will be helpful, I don't think pictures of her children and R Kelly CD's will help me much. The classroom was SO dirty and looked like it had never seen a mop. There is a very small chalkboard in the front and that is it!! I am trying to make the best out of it, but it is really hard. I have a tough road ahead of me!! Any suggestions to get the janitorial staff on my side?

    HELP!
    R
     
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  3. liz

    liz Rookie

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    Jul 28, 2005

    I'm so sorry! I always bring my custodians food. I also am considerate and do what cleaning I can to help them. This time of year they are just swamped with getting the building ready for school.
    You might buy an inexpensive white board to hang or buy the white board adhesive sheets and put them on the wall.
    I would also go through and toss anything that looks more than 3years old.
    Good Luck. You'll transform the room into a better place for the kids!
    liz
     
  4. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Jul 28, 2005

    Oh, yuck. I feel for you. Last year I had to switch rooms, and the previous teacher had years and years of junk.......I think I filled up two dumpsters, but it felt good to purge! I have enough of my own stuff to fill the room with. One thing I've learned is to become good friends with the school custodian and the school secretary. You want them on your side........they can be more help then anyone else a lot of times. Remember to show them you appreciate what they do, and it will take you far ! Good luck!
     
  5. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Jul 28, 2005

    I'm sorry you have to deal with that!! Hopefully with a little TLC, the room will look better than it probably has in years! You might want to see if you can find a "rolling" chalkboard floating around the school...those are helpful, and you can move them to wherever you need them!!
     
  6. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Jul 28, 2005

    This year, I had a somewhat similar situation. I have found a lot of random supplies since I have moved into my new room. I opened one cabinet and though it's nobody's fault personally, I found rat droppings. A roach scampered across the room on the second day I was moving there, and a few days ago, a fly about an inch long wanted to attack the daylights out of me because it was just lingering around and would not leave.

    The room right now, though, has been cleaned and scrubbed. Especially the cabinets near the sink! I have totally revamped the place.

    I would say to start by asking for some janitorial supplies to begin cleaning on your own (scrubbing cabinets, for example).

    Then later on, they may offer to help a bit more (hopefully mopping the floor). I would also start by doing Clean Sweep and making keep, donate, and get rid of piles. Personally, I would dump anything that looks tattered, unless it can be used as a teaching resource for you.
     
  7. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Jul 28, 2005

    Give the pictures of her children back to her, too. ;-)
     
  8. Nisey

    Nisey Companion

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    Jul 28, 2005

    I know what you mean! Before school ended I had a chance to clean my new room and it was absolutly crazy the amount of crap I had to clean out from two teachers ago. there were a ton of suppplies that were never used in the closet. the dust and other things....oh I was livid! and i will still have stuff to clean when I go back in a month.
     
  9. wdwteach

    wdwteach Cohort

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    Jul 28, 2005

    Throw stuff away!!!! Do not try to sort through all that stuff. Only sort out what is required to keep and throw the rest away! I am still throwing things away after 3 years in my classroom. As for the custodians, I think asking for cleaning supplies is good. It lets them know you are not tapping your foot waiting for them to clean the room. Also some bottled water and candy or homemade (break and bake) cookies could not hurt.
     
  10. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    Jul 28, 2005

    Yep- through it away.
    After moving several times to different schools, I just throw it away now. I feel guilty about adding to the trash heap. but yuck.

    Ask the custodians that you would like to throw a bunch of stuff away, what's their advice? Get them respect.
     
  11. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I'm ready to throw my own junk away. I woke up at 2:30 this morning envisioning the mess on my floor and trying to figure out how to reorganize it with no cupboards, drawers, counters or anything other than one closet which I share with another teacher. Makes me nuts.
     
  12. newteacher16

    newteacher16 Companion

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    Aug 2, 2005

    And if you have books that are old and not worth keeping but feel bad about throwing it all away, you can always make a "free to a good home" box for the kids to peruse during the first week. That's what I'm doing right now, bc the teacher who was in my room before left so many old books that I have no use for. I felt bad pitching them, but I figure some kids might be interested in taking them home.
     
  13. abcteacher

    abcteacher Rookie

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    Start tossing. I had to clean my last room too. My husband came in with me to drop off my things for the room. I had no place to put my stuff. Plus it looked terrible! The asst. principal wondered why I put things the way I did and didn't seem to notice the mess though. I guess she was used to it. Do what's best for you and your kids. They will have an easier time learning in an organized and clean room. Maybe there will be less absences too, due to a better health situation.
     
  14. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    Okay, let's put it into perspective...

    Pick a corner and start plugging away. Don't look at the whole, that will be too discouraging. At this moment, I would be willing to take on the most disgusting classroom to have the chance to transform it into my own, inviting sanctuary of a classroom. Hopefully you have at least a couple of weeks before school starts, but I'm sure you will do fine. :)
     
  15. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    When you get the dirt scrubbed away, ----paint ---I paint everything, ceilings, walls, wood work. Paint makes everything look so pretty and clean. Maybe the school has a big electric wash and wax floor cleaning machine, you could use on the floors.
    ******White boards are great and expensive. Go to the lumber yard buy a sheet of smooth white paneling. ---called white tile board…. Our lumber yard cut it up in smaller sizes free. (about 11 by 12 inches) don't remember for sure. Or maybe your high school shop teacher will cut it for you. Next with sand paper sand around the edges just enough to take off the sharp edge. A boys top of a sock ---makes a good eraser. You need a white board, a white board marking pen and sock top for each student. Teacher gives a math problem, spelling word or whatever. When student has an answer they hold up the board. You say correct erase or try again. Our boards get lots of use.
    *****Don't cut the sheet and ask the janitor to help you hang it up for a great cheap white board. Use dry erase markers and if it gets stained, wipe it with alcohol wipes. Don't use them every time.....
    ****add a green plant, a fan, a rug and rocking chair.
     
  16. mccwen

    mccwen Comrade

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    Aug 3, 2005

    I agree about throwing out the trash but make sure you recyle if you can. I have purged my closet several times in my classroom but our school has three very large blue recycle bins (3'x4' and on wheels.) It makes me feel a little better about getting rid of all that stuff if I recycle what I can.
     
  17. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Be careful about the type of maintenance work you attempt; it is possible that this work is reserved for non-certified staff, and their union may be unhappy if you take on their work (painting, repairs, floor care, etc.) I know it sounds crazy, but I have read of teachers having a grievance filed against them for doing this type of work in their classroom.
     
  18. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Canadian Teacher you sure helped put things into perspective. Thank you.

    I am just past the stage where I feel like I am merely moving piles from one place on the floor to another place on the floor.
     
  19. musicteach

    musicteach Companion

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    I agree with the previous post. One wall in my room has disgusting pale blue paint that could really use a new coat of paint. I asked if I could paint and was told by adm. that I couldn't. I guess the janitor's get really annoyed when we teachers want to do painting in our room, because in the past some teachers have painted some very strange murals that they have had to paint over eventually. I am surprised that the floors are that dirty though...we get "kicked out" of our rooms for a month in the summer, because the janitors take everything out of the room, wax the floors, clean the walls, dust the furniture, and put it back in our rooms. If I were in your situation I would probably just ask the janitors for everything I needed to clean the mess, and maybe they would get the hint.

    As for the out-dated resources: pitch them or give them away. When I started teaching I took over for a retired teacher who had worked at that position for 20 yrs. My room was full of useless junk. I started cleaning out one cabinet and file at a time, and requested new textbooks (and even got them!) Don't feel like you have to have everything perfect before this year starts, though. I'm starting my 4th year & still do a little cleaning out & revamping of my room every year...it's an on-going process! Good luck!
     
  20. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    Thanks! :) I would have never got to where I am without that type of attitude. It's the only way to approach a seemingly insurmountable task and keep your sanity. :p
     
  21. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    I start moving my things into my new classroom tomorrow. Thankfully I have the help of my mom and aunt to move all my stuff.
    I agree with the above posts get rid of what you dont want and start off in one area. Before I do anything tomorrow I am going to rearrange my classroom and then move everything in.
    Good Luck.
     
  22. Suneelady

    Suneelady New Member

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    Aug 3, 2005

    Some suggestions that might work

    I can understand your disappointment with your room. But I'm sure you can make it feel bright and attractive. Dig in and help with the cleaning - one, because it will help out your custodians, and two, because you will know then exactly how clean it is. If you have plenty of your own supplies, then I agree with the other suggestions and just get rid of all your inherited junk.
    Making friends with the secretaries and custodial staff is critical - and the suggestion to bring in food - esp. homemade treats - is an excellent one.
    As for your room, here's one idea you might want to try. I have two sheets of white mylar panelling hung horizonitally in my room - these are available and fairly inexpensive at any home improvement store. They are sometimes used as panelling in bathrooms - but make wonderful dry erase boards. The size is great and perhaps your custodial staff will help you hang them.
    Plants always add color and life to a room - and this time of year many greenhouses etc. are closing out their plants for great prices - some will even donate if you expalin why you want them. I have always found geraniums to be great classroom plants - lots of color and thrive in almost any environment.
    For extra space in my classroom to display student work, projects etc. I string a clothesline and use regular dollar store pincher clothes pins to attach things. The kids love hanging up their papers on the line!! You can also do this with yarn and use the smaller clothes pins avaliable at any craft store.
    Good luck! I wish you a wonderful year in your new classroom. :)
     
  23. hanvan

    hanvan Connoisseur

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    Aug 3, 2005

    I can't believe the principal let her leave her classroom like that. We have to put everything away and clean things up each year.
     
  24. Suneelady

    Suneelady New Member

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    Aug 3, 2005

    Me too

    We have to clean up also at the end of each year. I am nearing the final years of my teaching career and know that, before I leave my classroom for the last time, it will be up to me to clean out my junk and leave only what I think the other teacher might truly want or need.
     

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