So this past school year I looped up with my Kinder class to First Grade. It was an amazing opportunity to see how my kinder’s adjust to First Grade and an awesome learning and growth opportunity for myself. The teacher that had been in my classroom before me had moved to be the school Vice Principal. She is an amazing teacher and a very hard act to follow. She had been one of our First Grade teachers at our school for about 7 years I believe.
As all teachers know moving an entire classroom is no easy feat. And moving into the former classroom of your new VP, well… this room along with its contents were her baby. She was very generous in what she left on loan to me behind in the classroom, but unfortunately not very much space was left for my own things. This was a problem that I needed to solve.
When I could actually move my belongings, it was the last two days of the school year. And like most teachers who have moved a classroom after having lived in it for multiple years, you know that this was doable but just the moving, not necessarily the organizing part!!
Again like most teachers, especially those that are moving classrooms I was planning on going in during the summer to clean and organize all the things left for me and all my things that I moved from my kinder room. Unfortunately my school was undergoing construction and I was unable to go on campus for safety reasons.
I’m embarrassed to say, but once the school year started I had no time to organize. Being in a new grade, staying on top of curriculum and grading, was a lot this year. Every time I opened a cabinet…I just didn’t know where to start. I knew if I was going to do it right, I really needed to pull everything out and really go through everything. That couldn’t be done in a day let alone two if I wanted to go in on the weekend. Which I already was doing, planning and grading almost every weekend. I didn’t use very much of my own things because they were smushed into the cabinets and I didn’t use all that had been left because my things were smushed in around them and I really didn’t know what all was left in the cabinets for me. So as the school year came to an end, I planned to stay an extra week to clean and organize, and clean an organize I did!!
The first thing I did, (honest moment, I did not do this by myself, I had a friend helping me! There was no way I could do this all alone!), was pull everything out of one cabinet, and that took an entire day!! Yes, I said one! The art cabinet which had the least of my things. I wish I had thought at that point to take a photo, because it was so overwhelming!! It took up four tables groups (each table group was four desk). So as I was pulling things out I divided it into what belonged to me, the school, and the previous teacher. My things took up two desk, (half a table group). The items that belong to the school took up one desk, (1/4 of a table group), and the rest belonged to the previous teacher. Now even though there was a lot, and I didn’t use most of it, I did use some, and quiet a bit of it, I didn’t even know most had been there. A lot of it was really neat supplies, but it had all belonged to projects the previous teacher had done, and I want to bring me to this team. So, after I had everything out, I had my team teacher come in and looked at what was there because we share art supplies for First Grade, no matter who purchased it.
My team teacher helped my pick out a few things to keep, and the rest I gave to teachers on campus that could use all the wonderful supplies in their classrooms. Than I was able to begin putting things back into the cabinet. As the week went on, I moved from cabinet to cabinet pulling everything out, going through, giving away, and cleaning out. It felt so good!! I labeled every box that went back into each cabinet. Now right now they are labeled with sticky notes, but that’s OK, this is still a work in progress. I am currently making cute labels to put on each box. I will share them with you all when they are done, but for now here is how the cabinets look.
I am very happy with how my cabinets are now organized, they may not look they way I want just yet, but I did have to put everything in the cabinets before I left the classroom for summer. So many things will come out and be placed around the room when I set up my classroom for the next school year. When I am back in the classroom in the fall I will update this post and add more detail on how I organized each cabinet. This is a work in progress my friends, and will be continued.