This was the first week of school, and I am pooped. The sheer fact that this post made it up is a miracle. Fall is the craziest time of year for elementary teachers. Endless to-do lists and twelve-hour work days can make you question your sanity for ever getting into the profession. By October things slow down, and I can breath again. Hats off to my teacher friends with real children of their own; I don’t know how you do it.
My post-school routine for the first week goes a little something like this: Trudge through the door. Drop everything I’m carrying the second I cross the threshhold. Mumble “hi” to husband. Put on pajamas. Open a pint of ice cream. (A blur that involves spoon and mouth.) Sit in catatonic state staring at empty ice cream carton.
Thankfully my husband knows this about the beginning of the school year, lovingly stocks the freezer with Ben & Jerry’s, and fends for himself where dinner is concerned.
BUT, my favorite part of a new year is getting my classroom ready for a set of fresh faces. I have a disability when it comes to teaching…If my classroom doesn’t look good, I can’t function. I picked out several fabrics as my inspiration, and built the the room’s look around those colors.
Even though the cabinet is in the back of the room, I wanted to make it a fun spot for the kids. After I painted the wooden cabinet doors blue, I used an overhead projector to draw the US map in pencil. I then traced the outline using a chalk paint pen. My original plan was to draw each state…that plan fell to the wayside quickly, and Missouri ended up being the only one that made it. (Though very tempted, I resisted the urge to trace Texas.)
This name tag cost me nothing to make. Yes, these are just Scrabble pieces! I used wood glue to attach to stands, and then glued the letters in place. (You better believe I added that apostrophe in…Sharpie to the rescue.)
Since my last name is Freeman, my class is nicknamed “The 5th Grade Freebeez”. I found inspiration on Pinterest and ended up making a “bee hive” lantern in my classroom. I’m not thrilled with the results and almost left this pic out. (I figured if I show you everything I’m proud of, I should show you my flops too!) I’m thinking I should have started with a yellow paper lantern and added several more layers of tissue paper. Martha Stewart may not be impressed, but 10-year olds seems to like it alright.
Our principal let us use chalk paint on our classroom doors this year. This is great and serves as kind of a management spot in the room.
|Remember the “toad stools”? They found a home. My double decker hamburger used to show the steps of the writing process is on its third year. Crossing my fingers it lasts a couple more.Here’s to a new school year, freshly sharpened pencils, and lots of “aha moments” for both the littles and their teachers.|