Happy New Year to all those teachers heading back to school in the next few weeks! Unlike the rest of the world we celebrate New Years in August/September as the Back to School sales start and the kids start making their way back into the building.
I went back today for my first meeting. We have two more days of meetings then the kids come in next week. I can't believe my summer is over already. This is certainly going to be an active year. We were making the master schedule today and I just can't believe how much free time I'm not going to have. At the moment, my classroom is a MESS! They are constructing a bathroom and an office next door to me and apparently have been storing plumbing supplies in my classroom for the past two months. So, hopefully those things will get moved tomorrow and I can start to get my act together.
I don't usually have a theme for my classroom but, I do decorate with some fun things that make me smile. The kids enjoy the decorations. I don't ever like to push Fall because I LOVE Summer! I love everything about it. The exciting addition to my classroom decor this year is a blue and creme tote bag pencil holder my mom purchased for me in Cape Cod. (It looks exactly like my beach bag!) I'll be able to keep a bit of Summer with me all year long. This year I am going with mostly math decor because I am teaching five math classes. I bought a shiny new border and I'll figure out what the board is going to say over the coming days. Last year it simply said, "You can do math!" While I don't think I have any of the same students this year, I don't think I want to look at the same board for another whole year. If you have any suggestions for a phrase, please don't hesitate to comment.
Before school starts, one of my frustrations has always been finding a plan book I'm happy with. In previous years, I have used some of the old school plain ones. Last year, I actually used a student planner. But, after much searching, I've given up. This year, I made my own using Microsoft Word. I'll just print out the pages and fill them in as I see fit. (Hopefully, I'll keep this up. There is something to be said for having them all in front of you from the beginning.) I'm not one for typing my plans because I feel like it takes too long. Also, I enjoy editing them and making changes through the days, weeks, and months. I also make notes for the following year so, I know what I can do better. This year I am hoping to find a seasoned middle school math teacher to help me along my way. Although this will be my 7th academic year, I have never taught middle school math before so, I want to make sure I'm doing it well. Also, this year I have a Smartboard in my classroom. This is another wonderful tool but, I have to learn how to use it. I have so much to learn while having so much to teach!
As we approach the beginning of school, I always have trouble sleeping. I am anxious and excited to see what each day brings. I love my job and I love seeing the kids. I just need to find some way to get some rest. The funny thing is I know that most of the teachers in my building have the same problem. Frequently, we meet on Facebook on these sleepless nights and chat about what we are excited for the next day. Our staff is like one big family and we have been separated for most of the summer. It will be wonderful to sit together at one big table tomorrow and enjoy our breakfast, just like we always do. Obviously things will be different this year since we have a middle school opening, one of our teachers was diagnosed with cancer, and the building renovations aren't done yet. But, we are resilient and we will make due with what we have.
I can't wait to see what this year will bring!