Friday, September 02, 2005

My Classroom

I finally went to my school and got inside of my classroom today! Very exciting. It's small but I'm only going to have small groups of kids with me at any given time. It's really cozy--I love it. (There are other teachers who have the same sized room for 15 kids and that is really cramped.) When I got to my room it was still jam packed with books, supplies, desks, etc. My room used to belong to the Literacy Coach and Math Coach and they hadn't moved their stuff out yet. I met the Math Coach and she was the first person from my school who I've been able to talk to and ask school specific questions (I hadn't had any contact with my principal since my interview). I offered to help her move her stuff up to the second floor and I think she really likes me now because of that. She was introducing me to all of the staff and telling them to take care of me and give me supplies. She donated a few things to me already. I'll take anything I can get. The Literacy Coach still had tons of stuff in there so I couldn't really organize my room at all. Now that I know what the space is like I have a sense of how I want to arrange it. I want to have a carpet area but there's no rug in the room. The Math Coach said she'd try to find one for me. Yeah!

I FINALLY talked to the principal and it turns out there's an explanation for why he didn't respond to any of my emails over the summer. I found out this morning that the principal who hired me is no longer at the school. It's funny because I had gotten an email the other day saying when I could come into my classroom but I had no idea who it was from. Now I know it was the new principal.

I found out some other news about my classroom. So, we have some after school program at my school three days a week (M,W,F) and the coordinators need a place to plan and get organized for the kids after school. As luck would have it, that place is my room (my small, cozy room, remember). I asked my principal what I should do if they were going to be in my room but I had students. She said that they are only two adults and space is tight. Maybe sometimes I would have to take my kids to the library or sometimes they could go to the library. Doesn't it seem like the two adults should be the ones to go to the library rather than my group of kids who have a classroom. Why give me a classroom if I don't get to use it all the time? It doesn't make sense to me at all. I'm hoping that as things progress it will become obvious that the only thing that makes sense is for the the kids to stay in the room.

I was also told today that I should be having an ESL meeting on Tuesday. I'm sooo excited. I'm thinking that this could be the answer to all of my questions, though I know that I've wrongfully assumed that before (ESL training with TFA, Region 5 training). I still have to be hopeful. I really don't know what I'm supposed to be teaching!

After going to my school I went to the teacher store. I was so overwhelmed by everything there that I ended up only buying a few things (some borders, letters and a calendar). Then I went to Staples and spent $100. I was mostly focusing on buying stuff to get organized (file folders, hanging folders, file boxes the students can access, etc.). It's hard to know now how I will want to organize all of my paperwork, student paperwork, etc. In college I always started out with one spiral notebook where I took notes for all my classes for one or two weeks. Then when I got a sense of how I wanted to organize myself for each class I would go out and buy binders, notebooks, dividers. That's kind of what I want to do now (wait and see) but I want to have a start so that don't get bogged down with paperwork. I love organization so I have to get it just right. The other thing I bought at Staples was such an indulgence that I feel so guilty for spending $30 on it when I am so poor--a label maker. I love to label everything. I'm so excited but I'm having a bit of buyer's remorse.

So, things are progressing. Hopefully I'll be going to my classroom tomorrow to get some more work done. I still have to move all my stuff to my apartment too. I'm dreading having to make several trips on the subway with all of my bags. And it doesn't help that Williamsburg (where all my stuff is) is soo poorly connected to Park Slope (where I'm moving). Aargh.

No comments: