Your Adventures in Setting Up Your Classroom

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.Jasztal, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Jul 28, 2011

    While setting up my classroom (Days 1 and 2):

    - I came across a letter addressed to a "Ms. Jackpow" from a tourist attraction in St. Augustine from 2005. Apparently, that is the new spelling of my last name. My name has been spelled incorrectly by hundreds of people, yet that's a new one. However, note: 2005.
    - I found five areas where narrative and expository writing samples were stored. Shoved in regular folders, in two filing cabinet folders, and in a plastic drawer. I cut that collection way down.
    - I drank from the water fountain, and it actually tasted decent. .....
    - I found a LOT of weird paperwork handed out to me at the beginning of my teaching career, like "How to Manage a Classroom", "When to Praise", etc. Eight-year old paperwork.
    - No roaches. Yet. No wasps. Yet. Just a little insignificant, random... bug. I did tape up a hole in my wall last year, though, because we were being invaded by roaches at least once a day the first few weeks of school.
    - I loved the "How to Write an IEP" packets from my filing cabinet and the old Sunshine State Standards, too. IEPs don't exist anymore. It's now all about RtI. And of course, the SSS version 1 was overhauled as well........ :mellow:
    - And the random file folders in themselves... it was a nightmare. I have not come across such an array of junk in a very, very, very long time. I have already pitched an insane amount of things in just two days.
    - I hauled my biggest rug out of the middle closet, and the shift of it coming out nearly sent other things flying. My middle closet right now looks like a balancing act. At the bottom, too, there are some tiny rocks I dropped at the end of the school year.

    It looks like Hoarding: Buried Alive: School Edition.

    How about you? Have you started yet? What are your adventures in setting up this year?

    As for me, wait until I paint furniture next week. I am doing everything on God's green earth to not make a mess. I still have yet to sandblast through some other things before doing that, though.
     
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  3. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Jul 29, 2011

    I'm pretty sure I still have some purple ditto copies stashed in a back corner of my closet. I also have carbon paper and onion-skin paper. It's like a time capsule in there.

    I found my microphone and printer power cable in a plastic bag inside my empty aquarium.

    The most interesting thing was a "hmmmmmm" moment. I discovered that during the school year my garbage will sit in my classroom for DAYS without being touched, but in the summer I can put a box of papers and student projects inside my room on a desk and have the be tossed in the trash overnight.

    My strangest item ever was the year I found the mummified beta fish behind my file cabinet. We still wonder how he jumped out of the aquarium.
     
  4. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    It was weird yesterday when the back part came off my standing fan for a few minutes, too, and this disgusting grease got on my fingers. :-/
     
  5. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    My classroom was a horrible mess when I first started.There were test papers in the files dating back to a kid that I am quite sure is in medical school right now. I have a Promethean Board and several whiteboards. There were letters glued to the board. Two coaches had been in the room so in addition to twelve year old tests, I had tons of plans for a sport but I have absolutely no idea what they mean. I threw out 10 huge bags of trash. I have pictures up in the picture section.
     
  6. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Jul 29, 2011

    We can't get in yet - they're still putting the new desks together and last minute things. It will, however, be interesting to see how many spiders have moved into my boxes in the garage over the summer!
     
  7. historynut

    historynut Rookie

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    I went to my new room for the first time and started cleaning out a cabinet that was left behind. I found books older that I am and some science computer activity books that included the large floppy disks. I'm talking about the 8 inch things that I don't even think we have a computer for any more.
     
  8. mb_teacher

    mb_teacher Companion

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    Jul 29, 2011

    Ahh, my adventure. I am currently going through my stuff. Nothing crazy yet. I threw a lot away last year.

    BUT, my fun adventure is that our principal found out the evening of July 21, that the tile we ordered 3 months ago is not unavailable. School starts Aug 17, open house is Aug 15.
    As of yesterday, they were finally tiling the classrooms, but they only sent one person and called it "the crew". I thought crew was plural. Silly me! lol
    We're hoping the tile is down and we are able to get in next week, however we think they are going to be starting the hallway tiling then.
    So, as it stands, I have NO IDEA when I can get into my classroom. All my 4th grade team can get into their rooms. They have tile and their hall is tiled. I'm just the lucky one.
    I'm helping them with their rooms so they can help with mine.

    When I do get into mine, I have no idea what I will find.

    Love back to school adventures! :)
     
  9. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Jul 29, 2011

    I left my classroom pristine and was told the cleaning crew would be in the week of August 3rd. I figured I would go in and work on some units for a few weeks and then make the room "cleaner ready" (move things off the floor and shelves that aren't anchored). I walked in mid July to find a team of men moving EVERYTHING out into the hall. I turned around and have not looked back. I fear what is now waiting.
     
  10. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Jul 29, 2011

    I'm the kind of person who can't function if I don't know what is in every drawer/cabinet :p So I did all my organizing before I left in June, but I will need to dust/wipe down shelves and such. Plus we're getting the online version of AR so I'll have to redo all my books once that gets started! I still have "decorating" and copying to do of course...

    My first year teaching was horrible, though- the teacher before me was also the school computer person so I inherited TONS of stuff!!! I asked her SEVERAL times to come look through things to see what she'd like to keep since it all still had her name on it (she was still at the school, but teaching a different grade) and she kept acting like she didn't really want me to get rid of anything but never came by to look at it (I'm talking ALL year)...so...:whistle:...at the end of the year I started sending things to her in boxes by students and had them tell her to just look it over and do whatever she wanted with it. I'd send a box or bag each day until I got rid of all of it. Some of that stuff was from trainings she had had in the 80s and most of it was software that was outdated and couldn't even be used...and she hadn't taught in that room for a couple years- it had a couple different long term subs! I don't how they taught in there with all that junk! :dizzy:

    Why is it that teachers have trouble getting rid of anything?? If I think I can get away with tossing something or giving it away without any repercussions, it's gone!
     
  11. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Jul 29, 2011

    I cleaned the piano bench last summer, and found packets from conferences that were held before I was born...

    I still remember in my first classroom being baffled when I found several plastic baby bottles left in the desk by the retiring teacher. Couldn't figure out why in the world he had them until the following spring (they were used for change collection for a local pregnancy center).

    I've been on an organization kick this summer--I've ended up re-doing all of my cabinets. I'm finally at the "putting away the random things that are now covering my table" stage!
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jul 29, 2011

    Bettas are notorious jumpers! :(

    I haven't touched my classroom this summer. I had done a good job organizing, sorting, recycling, and throwing things out as I was packing up at the end of the year last year. (We have to have our rooms completely packed up, everything off the walls, all our stuff either brought home or placed in locked cabinets.) Then I got notified that I would be moved to a different classroom. I wasn't happy because it would mean unpacking all my cabinets, packing loading the contents into boxes, moving the boxes, and unpacking the boxes in my new (much smaller) room. A couple of weeks after that, I got an email saying that I didn't need to move to a new room because my classes were too large and the new room couldn't accommodate them. Now I've just gotten another email saying that they're trying to figure out what to do with my classes/room. I'm trying to avoid thinking about any of it because it stresses me out. I like my classroom, I have huge classes, I don't want a smaller classroom when my classes are so huge, and I don't want to pack/unpack.
     
  13. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Jul 29, 2011

    Yuck. Hope you get good news about your classroom soon, Caesar!
     
  14. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Jul 30, 2011

    Great reflections so far! LOL. More on Monday! :)
     
  15. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    Jul 30, 2011

    Nothing yet. I might make a trip to the room next week to ease into it. I like to have 2 weeks to do room prep, and my first day is Aug 18. It shouldn't be too bad, but I know there's some more sorting to be done. I ran out of time at the end, and resorted to the childhood standby of shoving things in closets.
     
  16. deedee

    deedee Connoisseur

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    Jul 30, 2011

    Meet the Teacher night is on Monday and my room is not ready ..I am here now working on it! I am not allowed to leave until its ready!
     
  17. iloveschool

    iloveschool Companion

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    I am replacing a teacher that retired after 35 years!! She left me lots of wonderful thing, but I found some crazy stuff too! The worst problem I encounted was ants!! I saw a few here and there and found the source- the framework of a window. I told the janitor who said just spay them with soap water?? This didn't work so I brought bug killer. this didn't work, but it did make them mad. I went and got the janitor and showed him where they were coming from. he tapped on teh wall and literally hundreds if not thousands came swarming out!! He said the wall had a nest!! They are going to have to tear up the wall and get the nest out!!!
     
  18. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    I am also a teacher that cannot function with piles or just the knowledge that things I don't need are hanging around.

    Now I'm not saying that I am super organized, but it makes me uncomfortable. I feel such relief at the beginning of the year when I get the room all nice and tidy......until I realize that it's all about to end.....
     
  19. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I packed my entire room up at the end of the year. Everything. It all went into a storage unit. While I have been doing computer work, taking classes, and reading self-selected PD books this summer, I only went to the storage unit for the first time last week. I loaded my car down with boxes of what I thought were classroom library books. Three boxes were - and I got them leveled (by AR level, since that's what my school uses). I'm going back on Monday, to return the office supplies and take the 120 2-pocket folders, and the 80 composition books I have purchased, and pick up more of my library books! I'm also going to the school for the first time Monday, and hope to speak with our new principal to find out what grade I'll be teaching!
     
  20. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    :eek: At least you're getting a new wall!
     
  21. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    The whole school had to be packed up at the end of the school year, and it's now renovated....

    but not really.

    Kids come Thursday. We were allowed into our rooms this past Thursday. I walk in and see a mountain of boxes and furniture. Too much furniture. Some of this stuff is not mine. So I grab a mover and have him move some of the larger pieces. I put large hot pink stickers with my name on it and my new room number on all of my things.

    Do you see a hot pink sticker on that kidney table? I didn't really say that. Everyone was being very nice.

    I pushed a cart out into the hallway...the kind you see at Home Depot, then added any tools I saw laying around. Picked up a few screws on the new carpet.

    Then started tackling the mountain of boxes. Yes, mountain. Four high. Around 20 boxes.

    Got to the bottom and discovered two boxes that weren't mine. (Again, hey, no pink sticker, and clearly marked room 112. I'm room 100.) One was too heavy to push into the hallway. Where's that mover? Oh, they're all out on the lawn under a tree sitting on classroom chairs they swiped from some poor teacher.

    But after two days, I'm unpacked except for one box of office supplies. That stuff is going in my new closet, which is locked.

    No computers yet except the new laptops which are locked in the new closet.

    Phone installed yesterday.

    Promethean board not yet installed.

    Television sitting on the floor.

    Huge new metal coatrack with a shelf laying outside my door, but bag of screws on one of my tables. I wonder if the guy went off to find the screwdriver. It might be on the Home Depot cart...

    One more new bulletin board supposed to come.

    Well, I was going to go up there today (Saturday), but forget it. I drove by and one of the construction crew took my box of goodies that I made and put it in the hallway for me, then I left and went shopping.

    I know it will be put together by Open House, but I wanted to spend this coming 3 days figuring out how to teach 4th grade again. I really don't know what the first unit is in math.
     
  22. Opal

    Opal Companion

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    Jul 30, 2011

    When I do get the opportunity to set up my room, it will certainly be an adventure!

    It will be a clean slate, as it is a brand new building that is not even ready yet! :eek:

    I start Monday for orientation at a different site and will hopefully hear that we will be able to get into our rooms sooner rather than later. Right now, we are slated to have just 3 days to get everything ready before the students come.

    Did I mention I have NO idea what my room looks like, and I need to buy stuff to decorate? I haven't taught in 7 years so I need to get started on that since all of my other stuff is o.l.d.

    I can't wait!! :D
     
  23. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Jul 30, 2011

    Ah, moving into a new room. We did that 5 years ago. We moved in 2 days before school started, had 1 day to get ready for open house, and had a tornado (yes a tornado) on the first day of school. No one will ever forget our first year in our building.

    For this year: My mom has been helping me try to go through things. I'm trying to purge and go through everything. At this point I have gone through everything and gotten rid of lots. My closet looks great and organized! However the rest of my room looks a mess! I have a goal of getting everything put away where it belongs tomorrow afternoon. That will give me all of next week to get my room arranged and begin on beginning of the year stuff.
     
  24. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I must admit--this thread really makes me chuckle!

    Ahhhh...the things we teachers go though. I would love to see a reality show one day about the lives of teachers!
     
  25. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I have not passed through the doors of my school since the last teacher day. I'm going Monday for a meeting and I'm dropping off stuff I've bought and will get my key, but we don't have air conditioning and I'm not spending a day inside with ac when it's 104 outside.
     
  26. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    I used to teach at an old school on the 2nd floor and would go in August (in Texas) and put my room together when it was 100+ degrees outside.

    Thankfully I now teach in a school where they keep the a/c going in the summer - they have it set at 85, but we know a way around that! (Lamp near the a/c thermostat works great!
     
  27. NYTeacher83

    NYTeacher83 Rookie

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    My school is currently undergoing a capital project. Each room is being abated and whatnot. I've had trainings and meetings at school periodically, and each day that I've been in, I've checked the room.

    Well, the first time I checked, everything was in the center of the room, but I had no ceiling. The second time I checked, no ceiling, tons of dust and debris, and no WALLS. My room was just a shell...

    I got very frustrated when I was told that I probably won't get into my room until the last week of vacation.

    On a positive, it's felt very good not to go in to school to work this summer!
     
  28. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    This is the first summer I'm not spending a week in the heat. I'll have to be up there the whole time the ac is on, but I think it'll be worth it. I don't have the stamina I had before all of my surgeries.
     
  29. jcar03

    jcar03 Companion

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    I am a little confused by this. IEP's still exist for students receiving special education services.
     
  30. lovelit

    lovelit Rookie

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    jcar03, I'm also a little confused. IEPs definitely still exist. I've never even heard of RtI. Maybe that's a new system in Illinois?

    Anywho, I found some scary stuff when I moved into my room last year! The teacher who had the room before me had been terminated, so I guess she just left everything in there for me to clean up because she had been fired anyways. Expired apple sauce cups, old melted lip balm, personal notes that appeared to have been from a lover, all kinds of crazy stuff was in that desk!! Haha.
     
  31. etcetera83

    etcetera83 Cohort

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    Jul 31, 2011

    We have RtI is an intervention program for reading and math. We have it in place in my district. However, if the student is not successful and qualifies for special education, an IEP is written for that student.
     
  32. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    They do... but here in FL, RtI is taking precedence. A child who may need an IEP has to go through the entire RtI process and all three tiers before an IEP can be written.
     
  33. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Response to Intervention. It's basically al kinds of intervention (different ways of teaching) for struggling kids. We have RtI and have for a number of years now, but when RtI doesn't work, kids can be tested and if they qualify have an IEP.
     
  34. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    We do RtI AND IEPs.
     

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