It finally happened: I went from having a small room with no floors and moldy ceilings to a brand new, shiny, magical classroom with big windows and actual floors.
Our first moving date was slated for September. Then, it got moved to the end of October during a long weekend that included a teacher workday at the end of the quarter. THEN, it got moved to November.
Needless to say, I was getting restless. I was ready to get out of that room.
A substitute came on Friday, 16 November and took my class around the school for the day — the kids went to the art room, watched a movie, played some games in the gym, etc. while I stayed in the room to pack everything up into boxes. I’m really glad my mom was there to help; otherwise, that would have taken a lot longer to get everything packed! I had some students come in periodically throughout the day to help me pack, and it all got done by that afternoon.
Sitting there in the empty space, I thought about all the things I associated with that room. I spent countless hours in that room for a good month before school started so I could prepare everything to the best of my ability for my first ever class. I spent the first three months of my career in that room, and now they’re tearing it down.
Despite my somewhat reflective and solemn thoughts, I was easily thrilled knowing that I would move into a room that was almost twice the size of the old one with big windows and a BrightLink (if you don’t know what this is, just know that it is awesome and better than a SmartBoard).
The movers wasted absolutely no time when they came to move everything to the new building — it literally took them fifteen minutes to move EVERYTHING out of my old room into my new room.
Fifteen minutes. That was hardly enough time for me to think about where I wanted everything in my new room. Fortunately, I was able to draw up a little map on my brand new whiteboard (which was a dream to write on for the first time) for the movers, and they were kind enough to place everything exactly where I indicated. This proved extremely helpful when I started unpacking everything.
The next day, I spent a good ten or so hours at the school unpacking everything and putting things on the walls and just getting organized. I really couldn’t have done any of this without the help of my amazing friends Keenan and Carmen, and I want the two of you to know that I’ve told my kids about you and how instrumental you both were in getting our classroom to where it is now!
There was this moment on Saturday night, right before I left, when I was just sitting in the back of the room on a desk in complete awe of the room.
Y’all, it is SO beautiful in this room.
Everything is just so fresh in B10. Fresh walls, fresh floor, fresh view (yeah, we look out into the forest — it’s fantastically peaceful) — I teared up a bit knowing how blessed I am as a first year teacher to be in such a room. I teared up knowing that this room, B10, will be such an incredible learning space for these children.
Saying I’m thankful to be in this new room doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings of gratitude.
I was nervous that the new room and being in a new building would make the kids go insane on Monday, but they were surprisingly calm. They were well-behaved and polite and worked hard — needless to say, they got a lot of pom poms in the pom pom jar that day. I think having all this space is a game changer for these kids. I can’t speak on their behalf, but I think a lot of them aren’t used to having their own space where they aren’t on top of a handful of other people. Being able to spread out is such a luxury, my friends!
Those two days before Thanksgiving break were simply magical — they were quiet, they worked their tails off, they cleaned up after themselves. Ultimately, I really think they’re starting to mature a little bit, and that is seriously the coolest thing I have ever seen. I have watched these kids go from essentially being second graders in August to real third graders here at the end of November. Granted, we aren’t completely independent yet and we still have a hard time on occasion with our talking, but on the whole I’m so proud of where they are now in comparison to how they came into my class. We started a classroom Twitter when we got into the new room (check us out!) and it makes my heart so happy reading the things that they have to say! They’re becoming very reflective and are really able to praise one another for their good work.
This whole moving experience has been really great for these kids. It taught them a little bit about real life and a lot about teamwork. I had a student (who normally likes to work by herself) tell me on moving day that she realized that solidarity is great (these are her true words, folks), but working with people can be pretty great, too — talk about a small win!
I’m hoping I can foster this positive environment for the rest of the year — it’s amazing what a little love and a vacuumed carpet can do.