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Classroom setup

There are an infinite number of choices to make in setting up my classroom and very little information on which to base these choices. Here’s what I know: 1) my teaching philosophy, 2) my preferences. Here’s a partial list of what I don’t know: 1) what topics I’ll be teaching, 2) how I’ll be teaching them, 3) what my daily schedule will be 4) how many kids I will have 5) what, if anything, the school requires I have in my classroom.

The imbalance between things I know and things I don’t know led me to spend a lot of time standing in the middle of my classroom today, staring at the furniture and boxes surrounding me.  Other teachers would walk by and say hello, then come in to ask if I needed help – I’m not sure whether it was the chaotic surroundings or the motionless new teacher that made them ask.  By the time I left this afternoon I felt like I had a decent furniture arrangement, but all of it could change if the projector doesn’t work in the location I’ve chosen or if it turns out my team leader actually does want to be able to open the folding wall between our rooms.

All of it could also change if I learn more about what we’ll be teaching and how we’ll be teaching it and realize that my setup doesn’t work for what we have to do.  And before I can go any further in my setup, I need to find several dozen shoebox size containers to hold my classroom library books.  The other teachers say they bought theirs at the Dollar Store or the local teacher supply store, but I’m slightly annoyed at having to invest money to fulfill a basic educational function – providing easy access to books.  I know I’ll need to buy the idiosyncratic organizational tools that I use to organize my workspace, but I feel that basic elements that affect the kids shouldn’t be my responsibility.

For this weekeend, my goals are to find bins or boxes for the 500+ books in my room, find or buy carpets to mark the group meeting space and hide the projector wires, and try very hard not to stress about my room until I get back on Monday.

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