It's time to put to work the things I have learned over the summer. I have gathered my ideas and articles to go back to school. My room has been cleaned by a hard working janitorial crew. A fresh coat of paint has covered all my small holes and blemishes on the walls. I am starting out with a blank canvas on which to paint a view of learning for my students. That being said, here goes the week of work to get my room ready.
I learned about simplicity this summer. I have gone through my papers, books, old district programs and stuff I have collected over the years. I recycled much of it. Other things I scanned into my computer or gave to other teachers that might use it. I have decided that teachers are hoarders. We have the need to keep everything because we just might be able to use it one day. No more for me. If I don't use it in a year, time to let it go. My room has gotten so much emptier. More room for student work.
I also decided to dump the desk. I have never been a fan of the teacher desk so 10 years ago I moved from. Sk to a table and I have not looked back. No drawers to pile high with stuff and no hidden compartments to lose things in. This year I will be moving my books to a shelf and using the student desks for me to work on. This will keep me closer to the students. It will also keep me from hiding behind my table while they are working. My computer is hooked up to the projector and that will be on the table with the document camera, but my iPad has the Mobile Mouse app to help control the computer.
We moved away from desks years ago to set up a team atmosphere. Students keep their supplies in a small pencil box on the desk and books and papers in a cubby. Students need to get up and move so having the get their supplies gives them a few minutes of free movement between activities. Making the computer a piece of everyday learning helps to free up desk space. No big books and less paper needed as they type their assignments. Simplify.
This week we will be getting our activities and lessons ready for the students. We have some new ideas that we need to plan out so we are comfortable with them. Instead of leading students to an answer, which we want to get away from, and getting students to think.
There is so much we want to do, but we need to understand the basic management of our ideas before handing them to the students. We have learned that the students pick up our plans, and run with them. Usually it is farther than we had expected, so we do not need to understand the program or process completely, we just need to be able to mange what're want to start with and how to work with the possibilities as the students start to branch out. It is another year full of possibilities. Summer is gone and school starts Monday. Exciting.
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