Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Place to Stand

So technically, in one week I will begin my 3rd year of teaching high school English. (They count that 4 month stint when I started as my first year.) My first year, I didn't have a classroom. I "floated". Which means every class period I taught in a different room. I had my "classroom on wheels". I pulled around a cart containing all my files and papers and books for each class. Quite a chore, yes it was. On top of that, I was teaching kiddos who had already run off 4 teachers that year-- I was the 5th for them. And I was teaching them English in computer labs. No desks. No room to write or to lay down their books to read. Such is teaching in one of the largest urban school districts in the country. It wasn't an ideal situation. But when they hired me, the one thing the higher-ups said to me over and over again was, "Please don't leave!" So I figured I could endure pretty much anything for 4 months. Then I'd get 3 months of break and hopefully find myself in a better situation the next school year.

I was right. I came back last August to find out that all my begging and pleading had worked. I had my very own classroom. I spent a LOT of money and a LOT of time gettin' the place ready for the kiddos on the first day. I have been in classrooms that besides the kids who were bored out of their minds, were completely empty. Nothing on the walls. Just a bunch of desks. It's not an atmosphere I wanted to teach in, so I'm sure the kids felt the same about having to spend a few hours of their days there. So I decided I wanted to have a classroom that sort of felt like home for the kids. A place where they could be relaxed enough to learn without stress, but still a place where they could focus and be engaged. So I bought rugs to cover the linoleum floor. I bought a huge oversized bean bag for the kids to use while they read. I hung curtains and brought a few lamps to really light up the room. I had teachers who came to my room and said, "It feels so good in here, I just wanna stay here and hang out!" Mission accomplished.

But for all that, I never had a podium. I did a lot of standing up and walking around with my HUGE text book in my hand with no place to set it down. Well, I've upgraded once again this year. My AWESOME husband agreed to spend his weekend helping me build a podium for my classroom. He engineered and built the entire thing, then I painted and papered it. It's light enough for me to move around when I need to but sturdy enough to last me a loooong time. It was quite the project, but it turned out really cute, I think!

Finishing the frame...

On the way to being finished with the skeleton...

The body is finished & Tucker's checkin' it out!

Painting & papering in the living room.

Added the crown molding and trim.

Painted the legs and wah-LAH! A place to stand!

The pictures don't show it too well, but the top color is green. It's called Lime Sorbet. I loved the name and it worked, so I got it! :) I think I'm on a green kick right now. Have you seen my office??

Anyway, it's gonna be a big week. It's the last week of summer. I'm going to enjoy it!


Kuenys said...

that is SOOOO cute! post some pictures of your classroom when you can. i would love to see it!

tomorrowsmemoriesphotography said...

Okay, you & your hubby are AMAZING. Simply AMAZING!
Why couldn't I have had you as a teacher?
Oh, cause I'm older than you, that's why!

Those kids are so blessed to have you in their lives!
Keep it up Ashly!