I loved being with the kids and with most of my co-workers, but I was happy to leave there at the end of the school year. More than happy; I was relieved. Since then, I have been working in my husband's business, La Pine Redi Mix, Inc.
Last month, I was checking out jobs on Craigslist just for the fun of it, and found a listing for a teaching position in a nearby child development center. I faxed over my resume and, what do you know, I was hired. Yay! There has been a recent change in management, causing a lot of transition in staff and for the families and kids, but I am thrilled to be there. At this point in time, on my busy days I only have 5 kids during the preschool hours.
The first thing that I did was to get busy on making the 2's/3's classroom my own. I tried hard to set it up so that it is an warm and inviting environment which has separate areas that all flow together. I thought that you might enjoy a tour. Never-mind the mess on the shelves on the back wall; I didn't have time to straighten that all up for this photoshoot.
Please keep in mind, I have only been working here five days, and that this room is a work in progress.
Behind the Discovery Center is Housekeeping. The table with the blue chairs is where we eat and do projects. This week, we didn't get many projects done, but because I had brought in so much to the housekeeping area, the kids were keeping busy with that, along with their regular interests.
This first week was also about getting to know each other better. The kids are really missing their previous teacher, and not all are on board with having me there. Perhaps if they ignore me long enough and don't listen, then I will go away and she will come back? It hasn't all been a piece of cake, but things get better each day.
I was going home so exhausted on the first few days, would go to bed early and then wake up in the middle of the night ... not being able to go back to sleep. Mostly, I was figuring out what I wanted to do with the room. Later on, I was figuring out how to manage the kids. I find it all really fun, and though not always easy, I turned out to be rather good at it.
The counter behind the table is where diaper changing takes place. Dang, it has been a long time since I have changed 10-15 diapers per day. It isn't always a pleasant task, but it does give me one-on-one time to visit with each child, and that part is awesome. Under the fourth cupboard door over is a set of stairs that slides in-and-out, and that helps save my aching back a little bit.
The Block Area is to the right of the Housekeeping Area. Part of it is carpeted, and part of it is linoleum.
Here is the Circle Area and Reading Area on one side, and the Literacy and Art Area on the other side. The couch is made from crib mattresses. One couch was already there, but one of our mothers brought in another one for us to make things more comfortable. I had the fleece blankets in our 5th wheel and brought them in to put over the top of the mattresses. Ti-da! Did you spot the pillows and flash cards that I made?
Since we are "The Rabbits", I went online and downloaded photos of many different kinds of rabbits, printed them off and laminated them. That used a lot of ink, but it has helped us create our classroom identity. I made 10 of the rabbit photos and let the kids choose the ones that they wanted. We talked about how we are the Rabbits, and that our slogan was "Hop to it!". That was on Tuesday, and the rest of the week, I overheard some of them saying, "We are the Rabbits! Hop to it!"
I am going to do the same for the toddler room, aka: "The Chipmunks". Maybe I can find some cute pictures of Alvin and the boys?
I am spending a lot of money on ink right now, but it is worth it. Yesterday, I brought in pictures that I had printed off, especially of the previous teacher's last day, and put them on the bulletin board. Only one of my students has seen them yet, but she was absolutely thrilled with the new pictures, especially the 8x10 of her old teacher. I have extra copies, and we are going make a book to send to Ms. M. as a thank-you and we are thinking of you gesture.
The classroom CD player drives me nuts, so I temporarily brought in my own. I brought in the peaceful/nature CD's that I use when I give Cary massages, and they are very nice and soothing. Of course, there are the traditional kid's CD's there too. Most of the other teachers use the local library for new material and I'm going to have to check that idea out.
The lamp is very nice during nap time, when the overhead lighting is turned off.
There was a large painting easel in our room, but I put it back into storage. I replaced it with a smaller one, but yesterday, I gave that one to the toddler room. There is one more easel available, which is the right size and up to four people can use it at once, but it doesn't have any trays for paint. I'll have to work on that.
So, that is some of what I have accomplished this week. I feel good about it, and I look forward to next week. Thanks so much for stopping by to see! Please leave me a comment if you want, and I will get back to you as soon as you can.
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