I remember a veteran teacher once telling me, “You know, teachers who are really good at cleaning up classrooms tend to get their classrooms changed a lot.”
That seems to be the case with me. Once again, it is time to set up my classroom for the year, and once again, I am moving to a new classroom. It seems that I am one of those teachers who is really good at turning an ugly classroom into a very functional and inviting space for my students.
I loved how big my first classroom was. There was so much space that my students could spread out and work or read without disturbing their peers. There were tons of extra desks and tables that made it really easy to designate spaces for centers and other classroom activities. Granted, the dingy carpet was held together by various layers of duct tape, but I did not mind. Some deodorizing spray, carpet squares, and throw pillows were all it took so you did not notice the carpet.
My next classroom was much smaller and cozier. Paint was peeling in places where posters had been previously, but it had its own bathroom, which is really a dream come true in the teaching world! This room came with its own quirks and challenges as well. The one thing that took a lot of getting used to was being on ground level; my students were more entertained by the kids and teachers walking outside than by what was happening in the classroom. While I appreciated the updates, I did not need to know every time Mrs. S was outside or when Mr. D was taking his students to their resource class.
This year, I have moved just one classroom over; I can still get to my old classroom through a connecting door. I am excited to have a lot more space, but I know I will miss having a private classroom bathroom. I am super-excited for the huge closet in my room (especially because it was recently purged of all outdated materials!).
The thing that frustrates me the most about moving classrooms is I do not know what works in the room. I find that each classroom has its own personality and it is hard to plan for the space until the students make the classroom their own. I have also found it really hard to make changes to my classroom midyear because the change really bothers my students. I have got my fingers crossed that I have made good use of the space and that it works out for both my students and me.
I would love some advice on how other teachers deal with being moved from classroom to classroom each year. How do you handle having to move all of your personal materials? How do you change the classroom midyear and not upset your students?