Wow! Wasn't it just the last day of school...um...like yesterday?
At least it seems that way!
But apparently, my calendar says it is August and that can only mean one thing to us bloggers....it's time for Currently with Farley.
Here is what's up with me...
Okay...so all of them are pretty self-explanatory.
I REALLY could use that cleaning fairy. This is the time of year that my classroom gets all pretty and organizing and my house gets all messed up and dusty. Anyone else have that happen?
Now in regards to my "Back to School Must Haves."
Everyone knows that if you have a Scotch Laminator, you are always in need of lamination sheets. I am not sure how many I use a year but I thought it would be fun to keep track this year. So far (and remember the school year hasn't even started), I have gone through 2-50 packs. What the heck am I laminating?
Yes, vinyl coated paper clips. You read that right. I PREFER my paper clips to be covered with that lovely vinyl coating. They slip on better and look prettier. Of course, our district warehouse is currently not in the same frame of mind as me regarding paper clips, so I have to go out and find my own. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the color coordinated ones at Office Depot and Staples. I'm like a kid in a candy shop when I look at all those yummy colored office supplies.
Lastly, comfortable black heals. I am the crazy teacher who actually LIKES to wear heals when I teach. My favorite black ones bit the dust last year. It was so sad. I wore them like FOREVER! As a matter of fact, I still have them in my closest hoping that they somehow magically repair themselves; you know like in the story The Shoemaker and the Elves but that hasn't happened yet. So, anyway, all summer long I have been feverishly looking for a new pair but having no luck! I'm hoping to find some today as I am taking my kids on a back to school shopping adventure. While out, I will just casually look at the shoes for myself and maybe today will be my lucky day. I'll let you know if it happens!!!!
So that's what is CURRENTLY going on in my neck of the woods. What's happening in yours? Go link up!
I made good progress yesterday. Here are a few snapshots of ALL MY STUFF in my new office/teacher resource room. I'm no where close to being finished but I'm slowly getting there.
#1 Here is the view from the back of my room. You can see my "small" desk and how I am currently utilizing that long shelf. It has been a blessing. I am placing my desk below it and using it to house all my supplies, binders and to display my awards and such.
#2 Here is the view from the front of the room looking back toward the counter area. I am working on getting those baskets up off the floor. Not sure where they are going yet, but I have a few ideas.
#3 My Schoolgirl Style inspired bulletin board in progress. I just love using the double border. It REALLY makes the bulletin board so much more noticeable. Now I just have to decide what to put on it and order some more Bordette. I ran out! Ugh!
#4 The next few pics are my teacher resource shelves where I am housing all of my personal items that I have used in my classrooms for centers that are now available for check out. As you can see, I have A LOT. I think I could open my own educational supply store.
Reading/Language Arts Games
Math Games and Math Related Teacher Resource Books
Reading/Language Arts Teacher Resource Books
Science and Social Studies Games and Teacher Resource Books
#5 Made it Monday-yesterday was Monday....right? Here are a couple of pics of items that I have made for my new room.
Reupholstered Office Chair-nothing fancy, just black
Banner for above my sink area.
Click here for the link to these letters. Aren't they cute?
So that's my progress so far. Hoping to get done within the next few weeks. Ideally, I need to be done before the teacher's return, because that's when my schedule becomes quite busy and I won't have much time for all this cuteness!
So...although most of us are still on our summer vacation, I know that many of you are ALREADY in full swing when it comes to prepping your space for the next school year.
I too am in this "MUST HAVE MY ROOM READY NOW" mode.
The crazy thing for me is that I am not setting up a classroom for students this year (familiar territory). Instead, I am setting up an office space/teacher resource room (unfamiliar territory).
So WHERE DO I BEGIN?
Well, here is my new space.
view from the door
view from the back of the room
As you can see, it isn't a HUGE space, but I believe it is sufficient.
Let me give you a little information about this room.
First of all, when this room was originally built in the early 90's, it was meant to be the Teacher's Lounge. That didn't last long! This room is on the opposite side of our campus from the cafeteria and since our teacher's only have 30 minutes for lunch and it would take them five minutes to walk to this room and five minutes to walk back to the cafeteria....well, you do the math. An advantage to being an old teacher's lounge, I have ample amount of bathrooms for the teachers when I am hosting professional development in my room (2 stalls per gender). I also have a nice counter space with a sink (I can see me using that space to set up a little snack area with drinks during trainings too.)
Next, this room is in a HIGH TRAFFIC area for our school. Just to the left of my room are the doors to the media center/computer lab. We thought this would make me more visible to the teachers and, hopefully, easily accessible as well.
Lastly, other than the cabinets at the back and two large metal cabinets, this room provides NO STORAGE. This is going to be a challenge for me as I HAVE A LOT OF STUFF.
So, like I said...WHERE DO I BEGIN?
As soon as I was given the go ahead, I began the overwhelming process of moving 20 years worth of teaching materials into this much smaller office space. It only took me four days, but now I am moved in and it is time to get inspired and create an environment that is organized, effective, and inspires learning.
So here are some images that are inspiring the decorating of my new classroom:
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Schoolgirl Style. I know her classroom designs are inspiring so many teacher's around the world. I just love this design! I am so in love with black and white right now. Instead of the teal (although I love it), I am going to add in a little royal blue (the color of the cabinets at the back of the room which is also our school color). I can only hope that mine looks half as good as hers.
Aren't banners fun when decorating? Amazingly, Shanty 2 Chic offers the entire alphabet as free printables. Who doesn't love free? I have already made a banner to hang over the counter space at the back of the room that will say "Teach, Lead, Inspire." Now if I can just find those cute little clothespins that they use in the above pic, I will be set.
I just love people who like to share their cute work with others. Shannon over at Technology Rocks Seriously is so talented and I just can't wait to adorn some of my bulletin boards with her beautiful, inspiring quotes. Go check her out! You won't be disappointed.
This has to be the CUTEST vintage teacher desk redo I have ever seen. For those of you who know me, in my entire 20 years in the classroom, I have NEVER had a teacher's desk. However, my new position kind of demands that I have one. Although I don't want to take up much of my small classroom for a desk, I thought this one would be sufficient for me. Now if I can just get my hands on an old teacher desk. There has to be one circulating around our 60 year old campus.
My storage solution? Not sure, but I sure do like these milk crate storage shelves. What a great idea for quick, cheap storage solutions. I know I am going to have to think out of the box when it comes to storage solutions because I SURE DO HAVE A LOT OF STUFF.
So that's where I am at right now. I'm ready to set up a wonderful space for my new adventure in teaching. I will keep you posted as to how it goes.
In the meantime, what is inspiring your classroom design this school year. I would love to hear from you.
I guess it is time for me to let the cat out of the bag.
It is FINALLY AN OFFICIAL DEAL!
It's time for me to spill the beans!
After 20 years of being in the classroom....I have been assigned to a new position out of the classroom (so to say).
I am now our school's Academic Coach.
I bet some of you are asking...."What is an Academic Coach and what do they do?"
Well....I will let you know when I figure that out. LOL
No, in all seriousness, an Academic Coach is there as an advisor for all the teachers. He or she assists with just about anything a teacher may need help with. They are in charge of professional development at their school. They desegregate school data and determine areas of need. They communicate closely with the administration to help not only the students be successful but the teacher's to be successful as well.
This is an exciting new adventure for me!
I have been a leader in professional development for several years at our school but also a classroom teacher, so I could only dabble so far (after all, we can only be stretched to a certain limit due to all the demands placed on the classroom teachers these days). But now, I have ample time to REALLY help my peer teachers.
Don't get me wrong; I'M REALLY GOING TO MISS MY LITTLE ONES. But, I have had this desire for a long time to reach beyond the classroom and I can't wait to get started in this new position.
As a matter of fact, yesterday I went down to school to see my new room and figure out some of the details that my new position entails.
The first matter of business is (which is a biggie)...I have to clean out the classroom that I have been in for the past 20 years!
WOW! How does one manage to do this and not get emotional?
Well, there I was (my OCD self) with my little notebook in hand making lists of what to keep, what to leave, and what to give away. Also, my new room is much smaller than a classroom; therefore, many things will need to be stored (you know, just in case I end up back in the classroom teaching again). Which is a whole different ballgame...WHERE DO I STORE IT?
Thank goodness, my husband has several business properties that have extra storage facilities. I do believe I am going to put them to good use in the next few days (Remember, I have accumulated 20 years worth of stuff...I'm what you would refer to as an "organized hoarder." Aren't all teachers?)
So that is where I am at right now. I am EXTREMELY excited (with a bit of apprehension).
Whoever said that teacher's have the summer's off are cra cra!
Here is my summer schedule:
One week of Common Core Training
Week long Cruise with the Girls (that's my one sanity break)
Ten days in Texas for my Sister's Wedding
Four days of VIMS/gradebook manager training in July
Five days with the kids at Fort Wilderness (hubby doesn't go so that's like work)
One day of VSET training in August
Two more days of VIMS/gradebook manager training in August
Paint my kitchen (it has been the same color for 20 years)
Pack up my classroom after 20+ years (this activity has to fit into any open space that I have)
I'm hoping to fit a day or two of relaxation in there, but those kind of days are looking slim.
Oh, and I know I left you hanging on my last post. Unfortunately, you still have to dangle for a little while longer.
I am not officially allowed to discuss my new position. I must remain undercover, incognito for a little while longer.
But believe me, I will let you know as soon as the muzzle has been removed. All I can tell you is that I am excited (with a touch of overwhelmed). After all, wouldn't you be overwhelmed if you were possibly leaving the classroom after 20+ years.
Which brings me to my next question, WHERE DO I PUT ALL MY STUFF?
I have accumulated quite a lot of loot after all these years. I don't want to just give it away just yet because of that underlining question...WHAT IF I END UP BACK IN THE CLASSROOM?
I need some suggestions. I don't have a garage and the room I will be moving to is a portable that doesn't have any storage.
I have been looking on pinterest for some ideas but really haven't seen anything that makes me go "Yes, that's it! That's what I will do."
So, if there are any teachers out there that have experienced this problem... Please share your ideas with me. I would love to hear from you.
In the meantime, I will try to keep up with my hectic "summer vacation." At least I have my CRUISE WITH THE GIRLS next week. I am looking forward to a little "just for me" time.
I know it has been a LONG time since my last post.
I have no one to blame but myself.
I let life catch up with me.
Let's just say I have been a bit overwhelmed BUSY!
I have also been attending millions of many workshops to prepare me for a BIG CHANGE in my career.
I can't give details yet, but as soon as I am able...I will spill the beans (PINKY SWEAR).
I have been trying my best to keep up with all of you, but my computer time has been VERY LIMITED. It sure is difficult trying to balance all the hats that I am currently wearing but as my husband said to me the other day "You enjoy the challenge!"
He is right! I do enjoy when I am overwhelmed BUSY. However, my house doesn't look like it appreciates it (I think I need to hire a maid.)
Well, I am looking forward to including you on this new adventure.
Yes, as you can see...I'm procrastinating this morning.
I have been on Facebook, more than once.
I have read all the current blog posts, more than once.
I have gone onto Pinterest, more than once.
And now I am doing my Currently blog post....don't worry, I won't do it more than once (even though, it is tempting).
Can you tell I am avoiding something?
It is that wonderful time of year.
No, it's not Christmas again!
It's time for that "O" word.
You know the word I'm talking about.
The word that every teacher dreads to hear.
Have you guessed it yet?
Now, after twenty years in the classroom, you would think that I would be fine with the "O" word.
In the past, I have always been fine with it.
I would tell them to stop in anytime they wanted and they would see me in action!
But now, someone has come up with a new process that they believe will BE BETTER AT DETERMINING A TEACHER'S LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE (You know...there is always a better way to do something.)
Because we all know that observing a teacher only once "in action" with a few additional 5 minute walk throughs will provide any administrator with adequate information on that teacher's ability to instruct. Right?
Oh, and did I mention that we have to write a dissertation as well. You know, prior to the visit so that administration will know EXACTLY WHAT WE ARE TEACHING AND HOW WE ARE DOING IT.
I am sure MANY of you are going through this process as well and are experiencing the same level of frustration regarding the new process.
I guess it is just my time to VENT about it.
I don't know how you feel, but as an educator, I personally feel that my time would be better spent doing other things to prepare for instruction, than spending six hours writing a dissertation on ONE LESSON.
But as I often say...."It is what it is!"
So, as always, I will NOW bite my lip and do what is expected of me.
AND....I WILL ROCK MY OBSERVATION!
For those of you who have stuck with me, thanks for giving me the time to vent.
Now, I am off.
Today I will clean my house (I have never been so excited to clean.)
I will do loads of laundry (I might actually let the kids roll around in dirt in their clean clothes just so I can have extra laundry to do.)
And, at some point today...
I will WRITE MY DISSERTATION (unless my computer decides to CRASH).
And, although, I am a little behind on this linky, I still wanted to participate.
It just took me a little longer than I thought to complete. I don't understand why...it's not like we don't have any meetings, parent conferences, paperwork, carpool duty, lesson planning, professional developments (I am a common core leader and teach lessons once a month for my faculty)....I think you get the picture.
So here are the before pictures of my teacher space...
My teacher space (no desk)
My work basket and essential tools
My Sterlite towers that store just about everything that I need.
My two file cabinets with paper organizer on top.
My sub communication corner.
Has anything posted that a sub may need to know (seating plan, how they get home, clinic passes, referrals, daily schedules, bus colors, etc.).
My assessment files and my trash can (that drives me crazy).
What do I like about my teacher space:
I love my Sterlite drawers. I have EVERYTHING that I could possibly need to teach and plan right behind me.
I love that I use my small group table as my desk. It keeps me from allowing the clutter to build up.
I love my essential tool basket on my desk. You can't see it from the picture, but it has a starfish glued to the front. I made it a few years ago. It has grading markers, pens, pencils, stickers, parent notes, clinic passes, referrals. It's right within reach.
What would I change in my teacher space:
I am not sure if you can see from the picture, but I have one more Sterlite tower on the other side of my file cabinet. It seems so out of place there. It's lonely! I need to get it with the others (my OCD talking).
I HATE my garbage can sticking out. It is ALWAYS in my way and it is ugly! I need to find it a home WHERE I WON'T TRIP OVER IT.
My sub communication center always looks so cluttered to me. I need to re-evaluate it and see what I need to do.
I would love to paint or cover my file cabinets but that will have to be a summer project. No time to tackle that right now.
So, I spent a LITTE TIME, re-organizing my teacher space and here are my AFTER pictures...
A clean table.
* still has my essential supplies basket and my work basket.
* the clipboard houses my lesson plans for the week.
* I LOVE my hot pink chair (IKEA find).
The top of the Sterlite towers.
* Small Sterlite drawers & assessment files.
* Notice the small fan (essential at my age...hot flashes)
* I love my assessment notebooks; I covered them with duct tape and added hot pink ribbon.
My Sterlite Towers-LOVE!
* I moved the 4th one over.
* LOOK! I had room for the trash can to the side. It's not sticking out any more!
* All labeled-LOVE!
*Summer project...glue paper to the front of each drawer (on the inside) so you can see the labels better.
My file cabinets and paper organizer
* pink and blue baskets house I-pod stations (they come out daily).
* snack jars on top
Small Sterlite drawers
*Note the missing drawer (another teacher has it, these drawers house my easy readers)
My awards and gift shelves
*these shelves my husband installed
*they house all my awards and special gifts from students over the years.
A bare wall?
Use to be my sub communication center.
All of those papers are now housed in a binder.
I like how clean this looks.
I plan on making this an "I Can" wall to celebrate my student's accomplishments.
Here is a look at the clean teacher space...
Overall, I am pleased with the outcome. Oh, and my summer project list seems to be growing...I even added to make a table skirt to hide extra clutter and maybe even make those cute crate seats.
So that's my teacher space.
I hope you enjoyed seeing my little home away from home. I hope you link up with Clutter Free Classroom and share some of your organizational ideas. That way my summer to-do list can keep growing. LOL!