Thursday, August 8, 2013

Back to School: Strategy for Getting Ready

Here is where I'm starting from...

Isn't it depressing looking?  And a bit overwhelming?  Do you feel the anxiety building?  I feel this way every year for about the first hour of being back in my classroom.  It usually goes a bit like this.

Move the desk.  Oh, I should get posters out.  Move the desk some more.  Do I have tape?  Move the desk again.  Let's hang this poster up.  Move the desk.  Stand in the middle of the room not knowing what to do.  Look through posters.  Move the desk.

By the end of that first hour I'm soooooo annoyed with myself.  This year I'm hoping to avoid this problem and I'm going in with a plan.

Back to School Strategy:

1.  Move furniture into place.  
Our custodians clean the carpet during summer break, so all of my furniture ends up pushed to one side of the room.  Moving the furniture into place has to happen before anything else can.  Once the furniture placement is right I can fill shelves, hang posters, and get materials out that I need for the first week.  Plus, if I get anything else out before I move the furniture, it ends up in the way!

2.  My space
This seems a bit self centered but it's hard to get things done or make lists when I don't have access to my supplies.  So the first area to organize is my desk.

3.  Sort Posters
Pull out posters and decide what/what not to hang and where they are going.

4.  Hang Posters
Starting from one corner of the room hang posters.  Most years I skip around the room hanging one thing here and one thing there.  It drives me nuts.  I'm going to try my best to work one section at a time until everything is hung.

5.  Fill in Shelves
This is second to last because if some instruments or supplies don't make it out for the first day it's okay!  I probably won't need Jingle Bells the first week!  :)

6.  Hallway
Not sure if this will be step 5 or 6 yet.  If I'm in my room for Meet the Teacher then this will be my last concern but if I'm not going to be in my room, then it will move up to step 5.  I want to make sure there is a musical presence during Meet the Teacher, so I'll have to wait and see on this part.

My goal is to remember that not EVERYTHING has to get done before the first day.  Last year I had my Recorder Karate graphs up knowing that I wasn't probably going to need them until October!

How do you try and stay organized while you set your classroom?


  1. I totally agree on the process. Mine is just a little different. I have to move furniture first, then I set up my office supplies and do a base covering for bulletin boards--sometimes it's a new coat of paint, fabric or colored paper, etc. (I have 3) After that comes sorting out bulletin board and poster materials, I set them on my desk and then go onto shelving materials, basic organization of all spaces. By then I'm usually exhausted or it's the end of day 1 so I have to do some sitting and cutting and laying out for the next day SO that's when I decide what posters go where, etc. and what to put on each bulletin board and lay it out right next to it. And the door and hallway are last

    1. It's amazing how exhausting putting the room together is, isn't it? I sometimes find myself more wiped out during the week of pre-planning than I am during the first week of school! Glad my plan makes sense. Hopefully I can stick to it and not wander around half completing things. Fingers crossed!


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