Tuesday, August 30, 2011

back to school we go

Tomorrow is the first day of the 2011-2012 school year. That means I am going into my 7th year of teaching! My goodness does time fly! I remember my first year like it was yesterday! Fresh out of credential school, totally scared of the lil Kinders, and unfamiliar with school procedures, I totally cried my first day of work. Thank God I had an amazing teacher I teamed with. If I didn't have her, I probably would have quit mid-year!

It's been an interesting 7-year journey but, by God's grace, I have been employed even if it's in 5 different grade levels and 3 different schools. I've learned that each grade level has different challenges and different schools have such different dynamics (even within one district). Thankfully, this year I was able to stay in the same school, same classroom, and more importantly, same grade level (first grade)!

So get ready for a class tour!

But first things first. My poor husband always seems to get the short end of the stick. Every summer, not only does he have to hear my whining about going back to work, but he's in my classroom moving heavy furniture, stapling things up, and having to deal with my OCD. He's the best! He's so lucky to be married to a fickle OCD control freak!

This year he did not want to lift and move heavy shelves around and then have to move it back if and when I didn't like it. So he measured out my entire classroom and all it's furniture, then made a small model to scale. I could then move objects around without him actually lifting things until I was sure I liked it there. Ha! Cracks me up. I did end up using it but then after he set it up, I moved it around again - Poor husband.


A (sort of) before picture. I already started moving stuff when I realized I didn't take a picture.

My goal for the summer was to find the level for each book and revamp my classroom library.


I knew I couldn't do it on my own so I enlisted the help of these amazing helpers! I got extra help, they got a lil extra spending cash. Everyone wins! Except husband. Haha! FREE LABOR!

Abe and Hanna, working hard!

A before picture of the lame library corner.

After! The not so lame library corner!

Okay, let me backtrack to my door.
Sign made by the UH-MAZING Danni! Another cute sign hangs in my window. Cute, no?! John saw a picture of it and said, "Why'd you use that tape?! It looks weird!" Hmph. I guess I'm taking off the Japanese washi tape tomorrow morning.

The view as you walk in from the front door. I know it looks really cramped and crowded, but my roster shows that I should have 28 students tomorrow (insane, I know), so I have to make sure there's a desk for each student to sit in!

This year, I decided to put the teacher desk right next to the door. Let's see if I actually sit down and use it this year.

This is what it looks like BEHIND my desk...
GASP! Ugly cords and a huge TV! I've already banged my head twice on that thing today. Let's see if I can go the entire school year with out suffering another concussion!

The walls are pretty much bare right now, but it won't stay like that for too long. I have the writing wall already prepped and ready to clip up my kids' amazing work!
(I spy my co-worker, Alison)

Once each student decorates their "surf board" and I get a picture of them "surfing", the wall will look complete! Like this (from last year):
Aren't they the cutest things ever?! GAH! Love them.

Mosey on a little to the left and there is a (smaller than expected) word wall. Too exhausted to redo it. It'll have to do for now. Right below it are some pointers from the dollar store that the kiddos will use for a future center game.

Not too far from there is the tent! My bff is the best bff ever! Cakies and Mr. Cakies took time from their date day to make this for my classroom. Love you, Cakies family!

Then comes some not so cute cupboards... I'll just skip over that. The past years I've used caddy type things that were left in the middle of the tables for students to share materials. For some reason, I just didn't like it last year so this year I decided to change things up. I saw this on a teacher blog (can't remember which one) and thought I'd give it a try. Supplies are in cups the kids can grab and go easily and quickly... let's see if it works.
Do you see all the junk above the cabinets?! I'll have to pull them down eventually but for now, I don't want to deal with it! And by "I'll have to pull them down" I mean "John'll have to pull them down."

Lastly, 2 things that is a MUST in a classroom... ELMO and a comfy chair on wheels! I cannot live without my projector and camera! If you're a teacher and you don't have one, beg, borrow, or steal to get one! And that chair, my oh my. I sit in it and point to where I want to go and my kiddos push me there! They love it, I love it. Everybody wins!

So that ends the tour of my little bungalow classroom. My classroom looks ready for the kids but I still feel like I'm not ready. Please pray for me as I get nervous like this every year.

But ready or not, back to school we go!


  1. you are also a hoarder...like all teacher, add that too you list. and the bottom drawer of the wood cabinet is at mom's

  2. Hoarder?!!! I take everyones trash and make it a treasure for my classroom. I'm awesome like that.... and I kind of like that there is no drawer there. It's a perfect home for my staplers.

  3. coming from a fellow teacher...have a great year! your classroom looks wonderfully ready for your new little ones :o)

  4. yay! somedays i miss the classroom, but most days i don't! gone are our summer days... boooo!!!!!!

  5. p.s. it took mr. cakies and i only about 15 minutes (we both finished at the same time). see... not even bad!

  6. soooooooo... what exactly do you do in the tent?

  7. woohoo!! have a good year Mrs. Park!! did you decide what you are going to wear tomorrow?!?!

    I can't wait to visit you, hopefuly sometimes this year... !!

  8. LOVE the writing wall and the students' pictures..I am going to have to steal that idea from you :) Can I get a copy of your surfboard? :)

  9. can't wait to post MY original copy-cat o, hello friend sign! i want to be in your class, mrs. park.

  10. Hahaha! love the "i point and they push me" chair... clever!