Back to school jitters

Tomorrow is our first day back for teachers. We have until next Wednesday before our students start which is a lovely long amount of time. I’ve very grateful to have this much time to prepare. I feel like I have a lot of work ahead of me. I’m starting at a new school. I’m happily staying with the same grade level so I have some idea of what I’m doing but new school means new culture, new routines, new expectations to learn.

There are many things I’m looking forward to about my new school. It’s a much larger school. Last year my school had 10 classes K-5. This one has 25 K-5! It will be my first time working with another Intensive French teacher at the same school. I’m looking forward to being able to collaborate with a colleague who’s teaching the same thing as me at the same school. Also, this school has French Immersion as well so I’m hoping that speaking French to other teachers will help my French. Plus it will be easier to create a French culture in my classroom where all the grade 5’s will be speaking French, not just my class.

I’m happy that I know several teachers and the Vice Principal used to be my Principal a few years ago. It’s not like when I went to my last school and didn’t know anyone at all on staff. I’m excited to get to know the other teachers as well. I hope that there is a good teacher culture. One of the things I loved most about my last school was how supportive and friendly the staff were. As a supply teacher I used to see staffs where there was some in-fighting and pettiness between teachers at some school. That didn’t happen at SD. We all supported each other. We all knew what we were up against.

I am a little nervous. Moving to a new school is difficult even while it’s exciting. There’s a steep learning curve involved in figuring out how things are done that are the same or different. But luckily I have almost a week and a half to learn as much as I can before I meet my new class.

What sorts of things do you do to help yourself get ready for the first days of school?

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Where should I put my desk?

I’m moving in to my new classroom in my new school this week. I’ve been in to the school twice this week so far. The first time I just took a look at what furniture I had, brought in a few things to put in my desk and mostly just sat there trying to figure out what I was going to put where. I’m pleased with my classroom. It’s, I think, a bit smaller than the room I had the last two years, but it’s more square rather than rectangle which I think makes it easier to move desks around. There are only two small windows, but they look out into a little garden in the courtyard. The lights are almost recessed into the ceiling because of the way the ceiling comes down to create awesome acoustics and I have an FM system too for sound.

Yesterday I went and bought some school supplies and brought them into my room with the help of my husband.

My goal for today is to put the big furniture where I want it.  I’m struggling with where to put my desk. Of the four corners in the room, one is taken up with a door, one has a sink, one has a window and a small chalk board attached to the wall and the other is empty. I would like to put my reading corner at the back corner with the chalk board and window. I think it would be a nice place for meeting as a class and having the chalk board there would help if I want to explain a concept by drawing or writing something out. That leaves the empty corner for my desk. No brainer, right? Except the empty corner is at the front of the room by the SMART board and white board and I have this aversion to having my desk at the front of the room because I don’t want anyone to think that I teach from my desk. My desk should be, and normally is, the least important think in the classroom while I’m teaching. I use it before and after school. Sometimes at lunch.

But I think that anyone who watches me teach would get right away that my desk isn’t up there because that’s where I teach from. I’m putting it there because that corner is empty and the other corner is better for a reading corner. Right? Plus, there are so many, way more important things to think about than where I put my desk. I’ll post pictures soon!