Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Back to School Craziness

Wal-Mart and Target have their large glue and pencil displays at the front of the store beside the large stacks of college ruled paper. There is a kiosk of back to school lists for the elementary schools. Parents are budgeting their time and money in preparation to send their little ones back to school after a long and busy summer vacation.

I loved this time of year as a kid. I would be so excited to return to school in my new clothes with my new unused school supplies. I would pack and repack my book bag the night before in giddy anticipation of the morning bus ride.

As a teacher, I see this time of year with new eyes. I too have lists of needed supplies and things that
must be done before the first day of school. I look forward to seeing my colleagues again and catching up on the summer happenings or discussing the latest news or changes that were brought up at one of the pre-planning faculty meetings. As a full time mommy during the summer, I yearn for adult conversation because I have been speaking "toddler" and watching cartoons for a good part of my days.

Chit chatting is one of my down falls during the preplanning days. I do enjoy talking and sometimes I get distracted from completing the more necessary tasks at hand like lesson planning, cleaning, running copies or decorating a bulletin board or two.

Of course, back to school pre-planning is not all socializing and decorating. As a teacher, we usually "loose" planning time to meetings, trainings and such. I am all for a good training, but sometimes I feel like it is such a waste of time when there are so many or other "important" (to me) items to check off my to do list. My Type A personality likes to have everything I could possibly do done so that "I think" my first couple days will go smoothly.

I will be teaching 6 preps this year! Wowsa. For the first time since I started teaching, I will
Be teaching a majority of Social Studies classes: Government/Economics, Regular Psychology, AP Psychology, and Sociology. My remaining preps will be one section of Pre-AP Advanced Reading for 9th graders. Luckily, I have taught most of these classes before (except Gov/Econ) so I don't have to make lesson plans from scratch for everything....just tweak my LPs as needed!

Here are some of the things I did this week during pre planning. I created a "readbox" book display for my classroom library. I found this cute idea on pinterest. I redid two of my bulletin boards, beautified my student work file with labels, hung up and moved around posters, and I reframed and displayed my college diploma and awards.

I still have one more room makeover to accomplish for students arrive. I am painting an accent wall! My classroom got painted this summer by the paint crew, but they did not paint on of the partition walls where I have a display. I took the display down and I am going to paint it red for some "pop color." Luckily, my local ACE hardware had their annual free quart of paint promotion so I was able to get my paint for FREE!
The only remaining time I have to paint is Monday in between meetings and 9th grade orientation. I only teach one 9th grade class this year so I don't expect a lot of visitors. Fortunately, it's a small area which I am going to paint with a roller so I am hoping it will be a quick makeover project. I will post before and after pictures too!

As I finish my FIRST cup of coffee this morning, I will leave you with with this: A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.(Brad Henry) but first a good teacher must get through pre planning! 


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