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Monday, July 27, 2015

My First Year of Teaching!

Oh.. your first year of teaching. It's something that you remember forever. When I think back to my first year I think about all the procedures and routines I had in place, and I don't do ANY of them now. I can't believe that my teaching style has changed that much, but it's all about learning and growing, right?

I one of those crazy lucky people who starts teaching before student teaching is finished. I left my amazing mentor teacher to take over a 3rd grade SEI class in another district across town. I took over the class in October, and boy is it challenging taking over a class in the middle of the year!

I'll never forget that first group of students.. my first group of CORRIGANITES! When I see them in the hallways now 2 years later they still run over and give me hugs. I hope that next year when they're in 6th grade they won't be "too cool" for that. It just warms my heart when my past students give me hugs :)

One thing that really sticks out about that year is how much I moved things around the classroom. It seemed like every week I was moving desks, moving tables, and rearranging. The room I was in was one of the larger rooms we had that was divided in two to create more classrooms. It was so small! I had to keep moving things around because I couldn't find an arrangement that actually worked for how small the room was. Here are the pictures I took at the beginning of the year with my first room arrangement:
View of my classroom from the door
This is a view of my classroom library. The green bulletin board was the first part of my math wall. Looking back now it seems so silly because you can't even read any of the strategy posters on the wall.

View from the opposite side of my classroom looking back towards the door
I didn't have a lot of ideas for what to do on this side. I set up a blue bulletin board, and it sadly remained that way for most of the year! I could never figure out what I wanted to put up there.

View from looking at the class from the white board
The back of the classroom was a room divider. It was not easy to staple or use push pins on that, so I didn't put up any bulletin boards there. It was such a sad waste of space!

View from the back of the room looking towards the front
This was my favorite part of the room! I had the most room to set things up so this was the easiest part of the room to set up. I had the calendar way up high, and looking back now that was such a bad idea! What was I thinking!?

If I could tell myself one thing about arranging my room my first year of teaching it would be this - If there is something that you're going to be updating a lot (calendar, anchor charts, word wall, etc) put it in a spot that is easily accessible to you. If you have to move tables and chairs so that you can stand on top of them to update a board daily or weekly it will not get done. Do yourself a favor and put it in a spot that you can easily get to.. it makes it so much easier to update things when you can actually reach them!

What are some things you wish you could tell yourself about your first year of teaching? 

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