Thursday, August 11, 2011

First Day Back to School - What I Learned From In Service and Being Back in the Building

Yesterday was my first day back to reporting to school. We did not have students, but we had a day of in service and time to work in our classrooms. It is always exciting to get back to seeing friends and people you have not seen all summer. There is that part of you that is saddened by the realization that summer is officially over, but being a teacher we love what we do and therefore there is that aspect that we look forward to getting back into the routine of affecting the lives of our youth.

Early in the morning we were brought up to speed with many changes to the operations of the school year. Many little changes here and there(many of them for the better). Nobody likes change, but every year changes have to happen. I am sure that we more changes coming that we don't know about yet, but this year(like every year I have taught so far) seems to have more changes than the year before. I was thinking about the changes and despite having the reactions like many where it always causes us a moment to process it all, doesn't change have to happen? I mean it has been two months since we left the last school year. The world has changed quite a bit in two years. Our students have changed quite a bit over the summer. As schools work to strive to stay on top or scramble like crazy to catch up, change is the obvious option. Thinking of it like this leads me to respond to the change with a mindset of being ready to tackle the changes.

As I mentioned a few times already on the blog and elsewhere I am moving from a classroom to an office this year. This is my third move as I took my current position two years ago where I moved from a 6th grade classroom to very little office my first year with this job. Last year we were lucky and moved to a science classroom which had everything we needed to operate a successful gifted education class and all the other projects that I run before and after school. With our enrollment shooting up like crazy, we had to relocate to another office. Yesterday we spent a lot of time moving things around, moving out our stuff, and reorganizing. And yes, I learned many things.

When I first moved from my 6th grade classroom to an office I realized I had collected so much garbage. I had so many things I did not need even though being a savvy teacher I kept things stashed in my room thinking it would come in good use. I was forced to eliminate many of these unnecessary things. After one year in a classroom I did not have nearly as many unnecessary items, but I still had quite a bit. I have folders and notepads just loaded with notes, ideas, etc. that I won't throw away. I have little trinkets stashed everywhere. This move has made me realize that I need to unclutter. The lady I co-teach with is the most organized person on the face of the planet. Nobody beats here in this category.

Here is just one of about 20 folders loaded with my scribble.

This move has been good as it is forcing to throw away many things that are not needed. I am starting with my pads of paper and notes and collecting what is needed and tossing. I will be efficient this school year. I know Amanda would like for me to take these ideas and incorporate them into my stuff I have at home. And yes, I hope to unclutter my stuff at home too once I complete this office project of mine.

It feels good to be back!
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