Day 5: Bare

Day 5: Post a picture of your classroom, and describe what you see–and what you don’t see that you’d like to.

[image coming soon]

I switched classrooms. They were waxing the floors. I had a summer job. The building was too hot. I was out of town for three weeks. The classroom wasn't empty yet. I was on vacation...

I have a lot of excuses as to why I didn't have my room set up before the first day of school. Sure, I started summer with some grand plans to shake things up I knew that learning environments were something I wanted to tackled for this upcoming school year. It was in everything we read for NextGen. And it made sense. I like being at places that are nice. I don't like being at places that are ugly.

In June, I had researched this really cool time consuming project that would cover my floors in fake wood panels and give the ground a nice comfy tone. It was a paper-paint project that would update the standard school-floor tiles to be a little more modern.

Yeah. That did not happen.

And then around July I started looking for colors to paint the walls of my room. I called Sherwin-Williams once a week to see what colors were mis-matched (they give them away for free) and if they'd work for the class. I bought some supplies and even enlisted some friends to help me paint when I had it scheduled.

Nope. No time.

I miss the blue with gray specks carpet of my elementary classroom. I miss the nasty purple rug that always got caught on tables and chairs. The horribly colored mauve cabinets and counters that lined two sides of the room. The awkward corner where the ancient TV from the 90s was mounted and the volume buttons didn't work.

But I'm not there. I'm here. In my new room. I've got a door. And a window. Two things I didn't have for the past two years in middle school.

I still have a Promethean Board and tables for students. I had the option to go for individual student desks, and I was almost persuaded to go that route, but after some affirmation from good friends, I made sure I kept my tables from my previous room.

The walls are pretty bare, but it's slowly filling up with charts that we've made with students. The Math Practice Standards were printed out in full-color and put up the first week of school, but since then, the mounting tape has melted slightly, and yesterday the last standard fell to the floor. I need better tape.

I've always started off with the walls being pretty empty. I like making charts and posters with my classes and having those decorate the room. I like that every year, my walls are different and not cluttered with the same store-bought "Math" posters. Last year, I did have a sweet Batman "WORD!" poster from my friend, Tim, but during the last month of school, an eighth grader who has no respect for retro Bruce Wayne decided to give him a mustache. So I must wait until I can get it reprinted for my word wall.

Also, I need to invest in 3M Sticky Paper. The Office Depot ones don't stick to these walls, so all the posters we've made so far (The One Rule, Living Above the Line, etc.) have fallen off. #sadface

Anyway, over the next two weeks, I'm having my student aides do all the summer classroom projects I never got to:

  • Mount nails to hang clipboards on the inside of my cabinets (done!)
  • Mount sticky hooks to the walls to hang emergency clipboards and backpacks (halfway done!) 
  • Paint cabinets over with chalkboard paint
  • Paint whiteboards over with chalkboard paint

And eventually, before October, I really hope to get some paint on the walls. Fingers crossed.