Setting up a new classroom

Discussion in 'General Education' started by elizabeth815, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. elizabeth815

    elizabeth815 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2015
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 10, 2015

    I got the job!

    How do I get started in an empty room? I'll be teaching second grade. I'll be starting from "scratch" as the teacher took everything with him. I'll have a desk, the student desks and that's pretty much it.
     
  2.  
  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,938
    Likes Received:
    681

    Jul 10, 2015

    Congratulations! What grade? Will you be able to get into the room before back to school week? Can you find out what boards there are in your room, what kind of walls, what technology? Is there a school library? Will you be able to look at the textbooks?

    Look at picture of classrooms on here and on Pinterest. Decide what you want the overall look to be, color scheme, general stuff. Then you might want to gather some books for your classroom library. Don't feel that the room has to be totally finished by the first week. Leave room for charts and student work. Enjoy!
     
  4. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,461
    Likes Received:
    1,485

    Jul 10, 2015

    First off: congratulations!!!!!

    Secondly, here's what I used to do whenever moving to a new classroom/school:

    1. Make an inventory of what's on hand. Often, there are missing Teacher Editions or student workbooks, anthologies, etc. Find out what's there! Submit a list of what you need (textbook-wise) to administration.
    2. Clear out any remaining junk left behind from the previous teacher and hang on to anything you can use (glue sticks, pencils, paper, crayons, etc.)! Make a list of what you have and what you need (with regard to supplies) and let your principal know. Every district handles purchases and reimbursements differently.
    3. Move in personal belongings.
    4. Organize the room (teacher desk, students' desks, tables, etc.)
    5. Decorate (bulletin boards).

    Best wishes to you. Let us know if we can help in any way.

    P.S. Second grade is the best. That's where I spent 8 years of my teaching career! I loved every minute of it.
     
  5. elizabeth815

    elizabeth815 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2015
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 10, 2015

    I was able to see the room yesterday. The janitorial staff deserve an award, lol! The room was immaculate and the floors were freshly buffed.

    There is a large white board at the front of the room, 3 bulletin boards and a wall of windows.

    The principal is on vacation, but she mentioned the building is open all summer and I'm welcome to come in whenever I'd like.

    I just don't know how to start. I'm going in next week to have my ID tag made. After I recieve that, I'll be able to get into the room and start. I think I'm most nervous about building a library. I'm going to check my local thrift store.
     
  6. LiterallyLisa

    LiterallyLisa Companion

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 10, 2015

    I agree about doing some inventory and asking around (secretary, admin, fellow teachers)

    I paid for way more than I needed to my first year. Partly because I jumped the gun, and didn't know I should ask around. While my school does not give 24 packs of crayons and 24 rulers if you ask for them (don't know about other schools) they do give new teachers nice "welcome" packages with a stapler/tape dispenser/and tons of other office goodies. (and my previous teacher left this stuff behind too, so I had extra) They also give out some things to all teachers like industrial sized hand sanitizer, wipes, post its, pencils, etc. I went out and bought alot of this because I didn't know!

    After all teachers came back, about 10 teachers stopped by to introduce themselves and ended up giving me something. Now, it did sort of leave me with some random stuff...but it was such a good starting point.

    Definitely decide where the main furniture goes, then decide where the things you absolutely want on your wall will go (word wall, Daily 5, student work, etc.)


    2nd grade is actually my dream job. ;) by that I mean, I like my 6th graders, but I loved teaching 2nd grade during my internships and student teaching. GOOD LUCK!!
     
  7. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,461
    Likes Received:
    1,485

    Jul 10, 2015

    I think many of us were guilty of doing this, Lisa. It's one of the rites of passage for being a new teacher. :thumb:
     
  8. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    4,156
    Likes Received:
    1,759

    Jul 10, 2015

    I'm like a cheap book pro. :) I try to never pay above $0.50 for a book, and within that rule, I try to never buy a book in less than like-new condition. Definitely check thrift stores, but be sure to check a few to get the best price. Goodwill charges as much as $3.99 for 1 children's book! Goodwill Outlet is a great place to check if you have one around you, but again, prices can vary. There was one in my city that used to do $2 book bags, where I could buy around 8 books in a bag, but another outlet charges $1/$2 for all books. Deseret Industries has been the best thrift store for me. Libraries also often sell used books, and I have some great hardback picture books that I bought for $0.50. Garage sales are good to check also.

    ETA: Also search on facebook for a teacher buy/sell group. My area has one and there are some great deals on there.
     
  9. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,938
    Likes Received:
    681

    Jul 10, 2015

    You've got me beat, Otter. My limit is $ .79 (because that's full price at Goodwill), but I usually didn't even pay that. I assembled vast libraries for two different grades. It's the most fun. When I left the classroom, I had a hard time ignoring children's books in the thrifts.

    If you hand out Scholastic book order forms to your students, elizabeth, you will soon amass enough points to order books for free.

    I would arrange furniture first, too. Pay attention to where you want open areas for student to gather, maybe for morning meeting or calendar or for silent reading.
     
  10. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    4,156
    Likes Received:
    1,759

    Jul 10, 2015

    Yes, I forgot about Scholastic! Definitely a great resource!

    You're lucky your Goodwill has such cheap books! :)

    And, agreeing with arranging furniture first. Also, put up some blank bulletin board space - put on a border and background, but leave room to put up student work or school-required information after the year begins.
     
  11. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    4

    Jul 10, 2015

    Congrats! I'm a second year teacher, and I just switched schools, so both years I have been starting fresh.

    First off, I want to say that I think you are lucky to have had the previous teacher take their things! My room this year wasn't bad, but last year, that teacher left everything. She had been teaching for 20 years. You can only imagine 20 years worth of JUNK piled up in cabinets, in the storage closet, and so forth.

    It took me a couple of weeks to go through it all and get rid of what I didn't want (which was pretty much everything....just old posters and so on). Everything was filthy.

    Anyways, here are some tips for this year that has helped me:

    -Go through what is in there first. Sort through books, supplies, etc. Distribute to where they need to do.

    -Arrange desks, rugs, etc.

    -Start thinking about the spaces you plan to dedicate to specifics (i.e. small groups, reading centers).

    -Decorate!!!!!! (MY FAVORITE PART!)

    -Enjoy :)
     
  12. shoreline02

    shoreline02 Cohort

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    632
    Likes Received:
    116

    Jul 10, 2015

    I have a related question, I was only hired on Thursday. I met with HR right after but we never really talked about my room or when I'd be able to get in there. Should I email the principal about that?
     
  13. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2003
    Messages:
    6,699
    Likes Received:
    66

    Jul 11, 2015

    Check for any facebook pages for teachers in your area or talk to teachers at the school. I belong to one for my area and right now is the time that tons of teacher supplies are listed as free or dirt cheap. Several retiring teachers are opening their doors and selling it all. You might can get some materials that way. Don't think you have to do it all this year. Pinterest may not be your best friend right now. lol Seeing those beautifully decorated rooms makes you feel you need to do all that. You don't. Make it functional and welcoming. That doesn't mean it has to be dripping in decoration. Think about storage, classroom management, and organization (how will the kids turn in papers, where will you store them while they wait to be graded, where will you store them after they're graded, do you have to send graded papers home, do you have to store graded papers, etc) I spend a fortune on that sort of thing my first year.
    Oh, and make friends with those custodians. They will be a big help. If you need furniture, go to them, (shelves, table, etc). They will know if there are any stored and available.
     
  14. gottateachtx

    gottateachtx Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 11, 2015

    Start with the furniture!

    Just like moving into a new house, start with your big stuff: teacher desks and student desks, bookshelves, etc.
    Then organize your supplies, books, etc.
    Lastly, decorate and accessorize: posters, bulletin boards, etc.
    Have fun!
     
  15. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,330
    Likes Received:
    572

    Jul 12, 2015

    re: class library - don't worry about stocking it with books. You'd be surprised at how many you will have donated if you put it out there that you need some.

    When my kids were younger, one of their teachers was brand new. She had a practically empty bookcase set up. With a sign that said something like "this space reserved for our future library." Parents were more than happy to donate used books from home and to help stock up from yard sale finds and Scholastic book sales. In the four years it took for one kid to have the new teacher and the second child to have her as well, the bookcase went from empty to full.
     
  16. WarriorPrncss

    WarriorPrncss Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2014
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    28

    Jul 12, 2015

    :blush: Guilty...

    I've been painting my classroom over the past few days and have found that, for many things, I just have to find the right person to ask! Thank goodness, because I was about to buy things I didn't have to that I was told I was on my own for! ....and I've bought things I didn't have to...
     
  17. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,061
    Likes Received:
    538

    Jul 13, 2015

    Congrats! I love a new, empty classroom. It's a blank canvas that you can make your own.

    Here are a few tips from a former 1st & 2nd grade teacher;

    1. RESIST THE URGE TO SHOP!! It's too early. Like others have said, wait and see what your school will provide for you. Many teachers will be willing to share as well.

    2. Books are a must, so get started on that. Check out garage sales, thrift stores and your local library. My library cleans out a section every month and sells the books $5.00 per bag. So I fill a large canvas shopping bag with books and pay $5.00 for it. I quickly built up an amazing classroom library this way.

    3. As you are thrifting and garage sale-ing, you can't go wrong with dice, dominoes and playing cards. These 3 things are the foundation of my math program. I'm so happy I bought all of these because I have taken them with me every time I've made a change and I know I always have those to get started. The fancy, fun, shiny manipulatives can wait until you know if your school will buy them for you.

    4. It's okay if the room still feels empty at the beginning of the year. The kids will love creating things with you and by then end of the year you'll wonder how you accumulated so much stuff!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. ally06
Total: 258 (members: 1, guests: 232, robots: 25)
test