Today is my last official day of summer. Tomorrow is my first professional day back to school. I have been in my classroom a couple times this week to begin to get ready, start to arrange the room, clean, getting bulletin boards ready. This will be my 14th start to a school year, You would think by now I would have things down pat…I wish that was the case!! Every year brings new challenges and every year I am still trying to find new ways to reach my kids and better organize their teacher.
This year I am trying a couple new things as I know that what Cleveland faces this year in terms of budget cuts and larger class sizes…is going to make this a very challenging year.
Here is what I have done so far:
1. Changed up my room a bit. I don’t have many options as far as furniture…There are far too many students to try any tabe groupings etc, I have to just try to arrange tables to accomodate all my students in the most efficient way possible. What I decided to do instead was change up my bulletin boards. I bought bright vibrant material at Joann Fabrics (of course with coupons!!!) to use instead of bulletin paper. I thought bringing as much brightness as I can to my classroom will help set the tone.
2. I am going to try a new method for staying organized. I have been scouring different blogs and websites from other teachers and I am trying to implement a teacher binder. This is a one stop place filled with tabs for my calendar, student data, lesson plans, meeting notes, and grades. I am hoping this helps keep everything more organized as in the past I have a data binder, grade book, and lesson plan book separately. Also, this binder will help me if I ever need a sub and I can keep all important information at their fingertips. We shall see!
3. I am still trying to decide what my opening day activities will be. I know the first two novels I will be doing with both my Seventh and Eighth graders, but I want to come up with something that will engage them and also a way I can assess where they are.
4. I have a long way to go before students arrive next Wednesday, but with each new year, I am hopeful and encouraged and I hope that stays with me!