I have come to fall in love with teaching in Catholic schools. What are YOU in love with?...

"Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything." - Pedro Arrupe

Thursday, August 14, 2014

O Classroom, My Classroom...

First glimpse of classroom pictures (cue lights! cue sound!) - Keep in mind that while I have come far from where I started when I walked in yesterday, I still have quite a bit left to do...

One of my first tasks was to take out everything from the shelves, chuck what I am not planning to use (slash, what would just accumulating dust), and reorganize the cabinet. As you can see, there are many PD & religious books (as well as DVDs) stashed away in this area of the classroom:

The next four pictures are of the front of my classroom, creating our prayer space:

Funny story about the corkboard, actually - I didn't realize how thin it was, so when I tried to use push pins, they wouldn't hold (or would poke (with effort) into the wall). Bummed, I almost took down the large piece, when I had an epiphany - Use the smaller pieces that I had just bought at Target to make some of the board double thick. Voila! It worked. (At least, I hope it's still hanging up tomorrow...and in the days to come...)

I had to make directions - bottom line, be careful when posting!

Prayer "table" with multiple books and sacramentals.
The empty vase will *hopefully* hold fresh flowers on a regular basis...

Oh hey, Pope Francis...and Holy Land postcards

Getting the kiddos thinking (and using my religious Tweets book).
I also love the fact that I was bequeathed a frog hall pass. <3

After a year of minimal use (due to being solely the religion teacher last year) - sadness! - it was time to actually fix up and label my classroom library. We'll see how long those books stay sorted. I even made a section of Miss Foyle's Favs to advertise some of my favorite novels and classic literature.

Of course there's a Sharon Creech section. I think all her novels are in that bucket...

I broke down and bought a new CD player this year (because last year the one I had broke). I had to strategically move the pencil sharpener too - I don't have too many extra desks to play around with this year because I'll have 22 kiddos in my homeroom. Woo hoo!

And, if you look closely, there are Piglet and Anne (of Green Gables) snuggled nicely next to the lamp.

As any teacher will tell you, organization is essential, so I will do my best this year to stay on top of that (both for me and for my students), and I will also work to stay as de-cluttered as possible (especially my teacher desk)...

Crates for archiving student notes and assessments - 2 bins for each class!

Group seating material boxes. Crossing my fingers that they last!

glue & tape (for interactive notebooks), spare pens & pencils, a pencil sharpener, a highlighter, some scissors, Y/N spoons, & post-its - the idea is to minimize unnecessary movement and to help them be responsible for returning items at the end of each class...

Every computer station is "armed" with a stuffed animal and a pair of headphones.

So many teacher & prayer books, so little time...
I love my frog collection, dolphin, and Olaf!

Reminders (and inspiration) hanging above my teacher bookshelf

Yep, that's most of it for now. I have yet to group the desks, but I plan to put my carpet up near the SMARTBoard so to be better able to conduct mini lessons (mostly for my 6th grade ELA class) and create a better sense of classroom community. (Plus, it's right by the prayer table, so maybe we can better utilize that this year.)

Tomorrow is pretty much a full day in our classrooms after breakfast and a brief orientation with the full staff first thing in the morning, so I look forward to being mostly done with classroom set-up by roughly 3:32 tomorrow afternoon.

(And one last plug - for those of you Catholics reading this blog, remember to go to Mass for the wonderful Marian feast of the Assumption. Mary, our mother, pray for us!)

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