well, summer is almost over. this weekend is the last weekend before i have to start working and i admit it’ll be nice to get back to school. of course i’ve done nothing in terms of planning but there are a few days left to sort that out.
one of the things i’m not particularly good at is giving a shit. case in point – i emailed the other new staff members the other day to see if they’d been into school yet (it’s been open since the 17th). i was under the impression that the caretaker said not to come in until late august anyway because they need to clean the classrooms etc. i got emails back effectively saying “yeah we’ve all been in and almost finished sorting out our classrooms“. oh my. having a completely empty classroom is an exciting prospect, especially my first classroom. but there is a buttload of work to do to make it into a proper ‘learning environment’. all the things i took for granted (laminated things on the walls, nice displays, posters etc) in other schools had a kind of nostalgia attached to them, rather than any real sense of how much work is involved. ie it was more “oh cool, i remember those” than “that’s 15 pages of laminated a4 cut into strips with key english and maths vocabulary on them and stuck to the walls in a place that the children will find helpful“.
so i moseyed into school at about lunchtime yesterday to see a hive of activity and creativeness. and as i worried about being the last one in i realised there is a lot to do. luckily i had an excuse, they were still cleaning my room so i couldn’t do much anyway.
i sat in the computer area and started looking for things for displays. one of the other new teachers is a complete keener and her room is fucking covered in cool shit that’s useful. she said she’d spent about £100 on things and her mum was there helping her make pretty backgrounds for the walls. spending money at this point seems stupid. in fact i had the opposite reaction when i found two awesome rooms. the stationary cupboard and the cleaning cupboard. i could only think how much money i’m going to save on crap over the next year when i can rape the school for fairy liquid and bluetack. don’t get me wrong, i do want to spend money on my classroom and get cool shit, but not yet. i want to settle in, see what feels right. i might buy a plant or two, but nothing more until around xmas i reckon.
the first website i went to was the hubble one. having access to a colour photocopier that prints a3 size is a great thing and i intend to decorate my flat with its spoils. next i got a simpsons character poster made up, then i got a nice mark rothko print done. i also got a couple of topic posters but didn’t do much. things for me to look at and feel relaxed and at home really.
i then spent the next hour listening to a great solid steel radio mix through my classroom amp & speakers whilst arranging tables. it felt good to get something done but today was the big work day, mounting displays.
i went in at 10 and got back at 3 so it was a good amount of work and all the displays are mounted and backed. i’ve sorted out books etc and i just need to start labelling everything in english and french. i was rocking out to the solid steel mix again through my speakers and feel like my classroom is going to dominate once i get a bit more technology in there. like the microphone/headset so i can read stories in cool weird voices. and do class karaoke.
over the weekend i’ve got to plan history, r.e., pshe/seal, p.e. and ict so that’ll suck a big one. but i’ve enjoyed this month off and getting to know my new town. this time next week i would have taught my first official day with my first class.
i can’t wait.