Friday, August 22, 2008

Taking The Plunge (sigh)

I did it. I really did it. I went back to school.

ugh.

Now, many of you may think of me as a particularly dedicated, rock-star of a teacher. (Which is, of course, correct.) However, it may come as a surprise to you when I admit that I have NEVER gone in to my classroom one second before I was officially required to. That's right, no summer time room set up for me. Really.

Perhaps it is because I spent most of my childhood summers in my mother's classroom and have been hanging her bulletin boards from the time I could safely wield a stapler (which was exactly one year after I stapled my hand to the wall...yea, mom tried pimping me out a bit early). Once my talent had been discovered, I was shuttled all over her school and commissioned to hang boards in all her friends' rooms too. I say "commissioned" because my bulletin board skills were (and still are, although I care about them considerably less) amazing.

Needless to say, these early experiences have scarred me deeply and I now avoid school in the summer like the plague. And in every other year, we have been officially required to report back 10 days early. 10 days...sounds like a lot, but it gets you off to a great start! Then it was 7 full days. Then 5. Last year we had 4. And this year....2. 2 days.

Any teacher worth anything knows that 2 days is not enough to arrange a room, make plans and get yourself physically and mentally ready for the start of the school year. (And personally, if you DO think two days is enough, I think you are worthless...c'mon, this job is HARD!)

So I went back. And spent five hours of my precious summer cleaning up old mouse pee and poo (thank you Master's degree!), moving furniture and pulling all sorts of crap that I can't remember why I saved out of my closets. Seriously, just let the old markers go....don't cram them into a bucket and stick them randomly into a closet like I did at the end of the year. Hoard much?

In addition, I have spent HOURS at home working on curriculum, etc. (Nerdily, I LOVE that stuff and there never seems to be enough time to think deeply about it once the year starts.) Granted, planning social studies and science is MUCH easier from my beach chair while clad only in my fabulous new two piece and some sun tan lotion....

I guess that all this really just means that...it's on.

32 comments:

Rebecca Bell, Ph.D. said...

We (school psychologists) have the 10 days before, but we don't really need them. There's only so many icebreakers and file reviews you can do. If only I had a room to decorate...but we're a bit nomadic in that we have multiple school sites. Good luck with your classroom!

kirchy said...

I'm jealous, I usually go bakc for 3 days just to get into the swing of things... This year they are taking out the aesbestos (sorry anbout the spelling), and the contractors are waaaay behind. So They may be able to be ready for us on Tuesday (i measly day early) Wed is all mandatory meetings. Thursday is Teacher workday and at night open House, Friday ,mandatroy meetings and Monday school starts....OOOh this ain't gonna be pretty, girls, it's lookin really ugly...

jerel said...

My very first year teaching, I was hired 2 days before the start of school. I was happy I had enough desks for the start of school (people had apparently been pilfering them all summer.) I think my room was finally "done" a month later.

Emily said...

Hi there! I found your blog & just *love* reading updates! You're too funny! I taught first grade up until the year before last & you take me back to those days... Good Luck getting your stuff together!!! :o)

Jo said...

We are required to be at school 2 days early, but then they fill those days with meetings! Obviously, teachers start showing up a week or two before school starts. I don't mind TOO much. It's fun to chat with everyone before everything gets crazy.

Emily said...

Well...I'm just DYING that I haven't been able to work in my classroom this summer. I usally go in once a week, at least, and that's even when I'm working a summer job. *sigh* At this point, we don't have a 100% confirmed date we can start working in our rooms in our NEW building. I'm glad for the new building, but I'm going a little crazy here as we are, as far as I know, the ONLY school in this city that has not started school yet. I can't wait!

Betsy said...

We are required to be at school for 4 days before the kids come. However, I counted, and out of that four, guess how many will actually be spent in classrooms? Guess. 11.5. That INCLUDES LUNCH. For four days. All the rest of that time is in meeting after meeting after meeting. Grrrrrrrr.

Betsy said...

I should have said, "guess how many HOURS will actually be spent in classrooms." Oops.

Anonymous said...

we were required 6 days before the 1st day. 5 of those days have been full of trainings, meetings and district staff development. Monday is our official workday, but time will be taken up taking our staff picture and meeting with the student teacher supervisor. I get a student teacher this year EEEEK!
So, needless to say I went in 2 days last week to move furniture into my room and find the things that I needed that I crammed into closets.

Sarah Garb said...

"Letting the old markers go" sounds so simple yet is just so hard! Not to mention letting go of empty containers--I might need that empty Chlorox wipe container to hold...well, who knows? But I will definitely maybe need it so it can never be thrown away. Maybe I can use it for all of those old markers!

Maui said...

I'm sorry to hear you're back to school, but I'm excited to read new material on all the madness you have to deal with day to day.

Now you can stop fondling that stuffed cat and start drinking coffee again.

jenamoured said...

yep. it's on. i'm mentoring and coteaching with a first year teacher this year. did i mention it's my SECOND YEAR teaching? i'm a great teacher, duh, but probably not qualified for this duty...

Jen Barney said...

have a great one mimi! may the teach'n' force be with ya.

Kris said...

I think I did a pretty good job this year of not going in before we have to...we get three half days to be in our rooms - the rest are all inservice-y things. Yay.

We return on Tuesday, and the kids come back the day after Labor Day. Every year, I wonder how it can be that the summer goes by so flippin fast! :)

missteachercasey said...

I'm a total packrat, too...so don't feel too bad about those old markers. I probably would still have kept them :)
good luck with everything

Charlene said...

Good luck this year. From the sounds of the last year, you'll need it (but don't we all right). In my first year, my classes were changed the day before I started teaching. Totally changed. I only had one out of three subjects that I was innitially hired for. As for classrooms, I was moved four times in the first week. I know how you feel.

Veteran Teacher said...

We get .5 of one day, if our administrators are short winded. I have spent many summer days of my own time every year I have taught getting my room ready.

R said...

10 days...! We are required back two days before the kids come, but those days are mostly filled with meetings, and we are lucky enough in our building that our administration lets us in the day before those two days of meetings to set up rooms. Other than that we're really not allowed in the building!

Anonymous said...

How sad am I? Not only do I not throw away the box of old markers, I go through them one at a time to make sure they all work!

Anonymous said...

I too had a hard time getting rid of the old markers...I just felt it was a waste...then I had a brainstorm! I auctioned them off at the end of the school year. The kids had to answer questions and I put old books, left over craft kits, old markers and crayons in baggies and anything else I didn't want, but was too good to throw away on the rug. I asked math questions, questions about assemblies we had and other random things. The kids loved it, I felt I wasn't wasting and had the wonderful thought of FRESH markers in the fall!

Anonymous said...

We just got the agenda for our first day and our super scheduled 30 minutes for room set-up. Is she serious?!?

Kathleen said...

Mimi! Please contribute to the www.Teachers.Net/Gazette!! Our community would be entertained and enhanced by your LOL perspective on teaching. PLEASE??? Could we share some of your blog entries there??

My daughters were MY bulletin board decorators (and cutter-outters) back when I was in the classroom and they were young enough to be recruited, so I found especially interesting your memories of doing the same for your mom.

Keep up the good work. Let me know if you are interested in an even wider audience. Kathleen, Editor, www.Teachers.Net/Gazette

abcr123 said...

A TOAST--That we all have a GREAT year!

abcr123 said...

A TOAST--That we all have a GREAT year!

Edna Lee said...

How dare you throw out perfectly good dead markers! Don't you know there are starving children in Africa who would love to have just the cap off one of those dead markers?

BTW...you've been "honored" over on my blog. Enjoy!

AverageMom said...

We are not "required" here to show up until the moment classes begin. Well, there is a staff meeting on Friday (school starts Tuesday) but other than that, nada!
As for bulletin boards...I discovered this year that you can paint them! It looks fantastic. Mine are all bright blue, my neighbor has purple, and the guy across the hall has black. Very sharp looking, you don't even need borders if you don't like!!

Mrs. K. said...

I too was "pimped out" to both of my parents' teaching colleagues to help with bulletin boards, organizing, etc. I also had the "privilege" to assist the 'rents with their classroom needs. I was the correcting machine when my parents brought home reading and math workbooks. In spite of that, I still went on to teach, even though both of my parents asked, "Really? Are you sure this is what you want to do? You see how much time we spend at school, even on the weekends." I'm thinking, "Heck, I just need to pop out a few dozen children and the work will be done in no time!" Needless to say, I haven't (and won't) pop out children for the purpose of classroom slave labor, but I will say that teaching is like very few jobs. It's definitely a labor of love. In the long run, we understand that the time we invest is worth it even when it goes unnoticed, unrecognized, and unacknowledged. (Let's hear it for intrinsic motivation!) Whether we're at school 10 days before the kids or 2 days, there's never enough time. So, welcome back! Hold on tight, it's going to be a bumpy, yet exciting, ride! Have a great year!

Cierra said...

I really can't wait to decorate my first classroom this summer. Although I suppose I need to find a job or at least a state to move to first before I get too excited. Keep up the rock star abilities.

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