Pre-Pre-Planning

(Sigh) August. It’s that time of year again when school is starting up. Parents are frazzled because they want their kids out of the house, out of their hair, and back to their routine. Students are realizing they procrastinated all their summer assignments and are living in denial and sending prayers out in to the universe that their teachers forgot too. And teachers are pretending to ignore all the “Back to School” hoopla sales going on. Well…not this teacher.

I have to say, I am excited to return to work. It’s not the mountain of summer essays I will spend weeks grading or the moaning and complaining of each student as they realize that my English II Honors class is not as easy as their freshman class, and that I actually expect them to work.

No, for me it’s all about decorating my classroom in something new and bright. It’s building relationships with students and finding out their quirks. It’s listening to their strange conversations and writing what they say down (even at the end of the year, my students still don’t realize that I HEAR EVERYTHING). It’s seeing my fellow teachers on a daily basis, interacting with them, bouncing ideas off each other, learning from them, challenging them. It’s reading stories and pretending I am the expert on that story. It’s having a purpose for 7.5 hours of my day.

It’s knowing that even if every kid I taught walks out of my classroom at the end of the year forgetting every literary concept I tried to stuff into their oversized heads, I impacted them in a different way by being present.

Ok, so enough of the overly dramatic and sappy non-sense. On to the meat of this post. Part of my excitedness about the new school year is the ability to put my organization, decoration, crafty, crazy side of my brain to work. I LOVE TO ORGANIZE AND PLAN. Check planning post in the next couple of days for the true story.

Anyway, it kills me that high school teachers don’t decorate their classrooms like elementary school teachers. I know the elementary school teachers are giving me crazy looks right now, but from my point of view, y’all have all the fun. So, I have taken it upon myself to decorate my classroom each year. It is nowhere near as detailed as the elementary school teachers, but it works for me.

This year I went with a blue green theme. I have to combine functionality with items that earn me points on my evaluation (don’t get me started on that).

I would like to thank the creator of washi tape for your brilliance, the teacher who discovered that plastic tablecloths work wonderfully on bulletin boards, and Pandora radio for providing me with some excellent tuneage as I decorated my classroom PRIOR to my week of pre-planning. I have to be prepared to plan, y’all.

So, as I cruise through my last week of summer, I am constantly thinking of that line from You’ve Got Mail about how autumn reminds Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) of bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils. I would seriously jump for joy if a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils were delivered to my classroom on the first day of school…followed by a truck load of washi tape and planner supplies.

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