That August Mentality

How did I get ready to head back into my classroom as the new school year loomed? By tackling the pile of papers and artifacts left over from the day I brought everything home in June, of course. I was a pro teacher, after all.

It was never a huge pile, and nothing had been ignored. I’d gone through it all before I put it in a box to bring home. Anything that needed immediate attention received it. Anything that was relevant to summer plans was also taken care of. Once I was home from school for the summer, the focus of my days turned to my wife, my son (I had only one then), my dogs, and my well-being. There was fishing to be done, of course, as well as a summer full of yard work, road trips, cookouts, reading, writing, and napping. Wait. Was there napping?

Anyway, my back-to-school ritual was sitting down in my little home office and clearing through the pile of forgotten papers to make way for a fresh batch.

Later, I’d pick up a new lesson plan book, buy a few new resource books, create some language arts and reading worksheets, and ready a few new bulletin board displays. The next day was the day school doors were unlocked for teachers.

How do you mentally and physically prepare to head back to your classroom? What’s the first thing you do when you go into your classroom? Is there anything you’re embarrassed to admit?

3 thoughts on “That August Mentality

  1. I too purchase a few new resource books, attempt to create worksheets and bulletin boards as preparation for a new year. I seem to spend a full week attempting to organize the classroom for new students and an improved schedule for teaching my elementary students. This year I feel behind the eight ball as I will have a new site administrator with new ideas and wants, a new reading series not as yet seen, and new students with no idea of numbers for my 3rd and 4th grade classroom. It makes for additional stress and inability to be as organized as I like it. I use to set up my desks then worked around that to get everything else organized. However, I have read that it is better to organized everything else and set up your desks last. I am very seriously thinking of getting rid of my desk. I never sit at it. It is a clutter holder, but the drawers are convenient. Any feedback on this?

  2. I gave up my desk a couple of years ago, after realizing how much time I spent cleaning it out at the end of every year. I now have a table that is big enough for myself and 3 or four students to sit at if I wish to have a guided reading group there. I have two book shelves behind the table to hold my own teacher supplies. It works really well because I can see and access whatever I need in a snap.

  3. I got rid of my desk this year too! I never sat at it and it became a dumping ground for papers that needed to be filed. I put the items that were in my desk drawers in small storage bins and put them in a cabinet beside my table where I do guided reading. By getting rid of my desk it gave me more room for the kids to spread out and made my classroom look bigger.

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