When I think about starting my third year of teaching, all I can think about is the song above. Even though I'm moving from a small district to a large one and from elementary to high school, some things never change, including the facts of teaching in high poverty areas. Even though my new district is whiter and more affluent, it is still over 60% free and reduced lunch. In fact, some parts of setting up this year feel exactly like the first time I set up a classroom: not enough materials, not enough information about expectations, and equipment that just doesn't work. But, just like always, the bottom line is creating an environment and a curriculum for the kids. Here's my shot at creating the environment part.
The outside wall; I had the poster printed up at the local print shop.
The back of my classroom.
One great thing about my current district is the availability of actual textbooks. I'll have a class set and see if I need to check out books to individual students for homework and make-ups.
My massive dry-erase board.
I was able to recycle both a parts of speech poster and a word choice poster. My plan is to start grammar instruction in the first unit with a review of parts of speech and word choices; I'll just have to see where my students are at with some sample writing. And, yes, my student desks are in boring rows. I didn't know how else to fit 30 desks!
Student materials and turn in zone.
Just inside the door, I have my trays to turn in work by class period. Underneath the table, I have extra binders and paper for students to use if they need either. I also have a red cup with pencils, hand sanitizer, a hole punch, and a stapler.
My desk area.
My desk is a discard from a local bank, so it's roughly the size of a tank; not ideal, but so much better than my previous teacher desk! I have my computer on a table, instead of taking up desk space, which is nice, but I'm not totally in love with it facing the door.
I am probably most excited and proud of this. I am creating binders for each of the 6 units this year. I have tabs for vision/big goals, lesson plans, assessments/modified assignments, and tracking student data. I plan on keeping virtual and hard copies of lesson plans and major resources with the hope that I can actually teach the same units next year and make them better! So far in my short career, I haven't taught the same grade or subject more than once.
I'll leave you with this excellent quote that will be the focus of my first unit.