Most people probably don't know what teachers do to "get ready" before any kiddos step foot in their classrooms. Here are some of the things I've done in the past four days, all of which are typical tasks before the start of any school year:
* Cleaned all of the desks, tables and chairs in the classroom.
* Picked up and wheeled a very large round table from one end of the school to
my classroom. I'm not sure how long of a walk that is, but I was rolling for about 10 minutes.
* Used an Allen Wrench to raise the legs of that table I just moved.
* Tightened all of the legs of all of the other tables in the classroom just in case. (I had to get under most of the tables to accomplish this.)
* Moved and unloaded three very large and heavy boxes of "cool classroom
stuff" from my attic to the car and then to the classroom. Note: I realize most normal people would probably consider the items in these boxes junk, but in the eyes of a teacher, they are classroom treasures!
* Participated in several "intruder" training sessions in case a gunman enters our school building. These sessions were very realistic and some involved climbing
out of first-floor windows and running away from the building. It was pouring rain when we did this.
* Attended and participated in many hours of curriculum meetings
Here are some of the things I moved into the classroom:
~ Large pillows to relax on while reading, writing and ruminating
~ 100 motivational quotes to hang all around the room
~ Polished rocks for Feng Shei
~ Wind Chimes to hang from the ceiling (No, the room has no wind.)
~ Small stuffed animals and toys to display around the room
~ A dozen great spatial-mathematical board games
~ Many decks of cards (different colors and sizes)
~ Several decks of card games like Uno
~ 25 different books of trivia and fun facts to use before school and
during down time
~ A fake flower that is over four feet tall
~ A large colorful butterfly to place on top of the over-sized flower
~ A large, plush butterfly that I usually wrap around some chair leg
~ A Slinky
~ 100+ markers and colored pencils I use to draw things
~ Several plastic wind-up toys that make me smile...I put these on top of my desk for kids to play with...Yea, I play with them, too.
I have been very energized since I started working again as a teacher. I've smiled more and laughed more and have happily thought many times about the first day of school. That's how it is for teachers before each school year starts. They may say the summer went by too fast and that the curriculum meetings are too long, but they're all excited to be back doing what they do again. I'm so excited to be back doing what I've always wanted to do. Teaching gives me a sense of completeness that other things do not. I know I won't sleep well on Monday night (Teachers never sleep well the night before the first day of school), but I cannot wait for Tuesday!