Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Room of One's Own

Here's a cute story:
Last year I came to visit the school where I'm working (the one with the bad interview, if anyone was wondering (it wasn't actually as bad as I made it out to be, but it made for a funnier story when it sounded that bad)), I was observing in an algebra classroom and talking to some of the kids. One boy asked if I was a teacher there and I told him no, but I hoped to be. He asked me if I'd seen all the construction they were doing, and suggested that maybe I could have one of those rooms. Awwww, see how sweet the kids are at my school?

Fast forward to last week; our department chair informed me that I would in fact be in one of the new rooms, F-4. Unfortunately, there was a small downside: they wouldn't be ready until Friday morning. That's Friday as in three days before the first day of school. That was fine, though, because I was busy with so much other training and orientation stuff. And then we actually were able to get in late Thursday afternoon.

My room was beautiful. Windows all along the back wall, cabinets and bookshelves lining another, and whiteboards covering the remaining two. Or at least there would be whiteboards at some point. There was even a place to hang a projector from the ceiling and plugs all over the floor. There was also a lot of STUFF. I got passed down all the stuff from a teacher who had left, and since he'd been in a portable with no built-in storage, I had three large cabinets, a decent-sized bookshelf, and about four filing cabinets along with all the tables, chairs, etc. I could barely walk around. Still, this was all okay because the school had hired movers to finish the furniture situations, so it would be removed. I started to separate the furniture I wanted from what I didn't, and discovered that none of the filing cabinets--or even some of the big storage cabinets had been cleaned out. As a result, I now have a hot dog cooker, a chess set, and some prayer candles in my backseat waiting for a trip to Goodwill. I learned a lot about this departed teacher that I had never been curious about. By the time I left on Friday, I had separated, unpacked, and stored pretty much everything I wanted to keep. The excess furniture was still in the room and there were no whiteboards or bulletin boards, but I went home, fell asleep, and was pumped to really get everything settled on Saturday.

I got to school, envisioning a classroom I could start arranging and mentally decorating the walls. As I was getting out of my car, my phone rang. "Hi, this is Sarah from the English department? So... I was in F-6, but since my journalism class needs to use the laptops everyday, I was actually supposed to be in the room with all the plugs. So we need to switch rooms." Luckily, my colleagues are all fantastic, and all the other teachers who were there pitched in to get the rooms switched. Four hours later, I was at the point where I'd been when I left on Friday. And I still had no bulletin boards, and somewhere in all of this I needed to do some curriculum planning with other people.

By the time I left school at 8pm on Sunday night, my room was to the place where students could come (thank god, since they were showing up in less than 12 hours), and I was ready as I'd ever be to start the year completely exhausted.

All my fun borders and posters will go up someday, I swear.

1 comment:

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Sounds like a typical school move-in. Borders and posters will probably be for Columbus Day weekend, if you get such a thing.

How'd the first week go? It sounds like you have really supportive staff there.