Thursday, September 5, 2013

Transformation: Classroom Edition Part 1

October 11, 2012.
That was the last time I "updated" this draft.
That was almost a year ago.

I'm publishing it now for two reasons:
1. It's a good post.
2. I finally finally have the "after" pictures of my classroom to share (they'll be making an appearance tomorrow.)

This post is a little lengthy (only because it is so jampacked with awesomness. duh.) so considered yourself fairly warned.

A few weeks months ago I posted my house to home transformation 
and in a perfect world, the unpacking, rearranging, and organizing would have been done after that post. And it was, for my house at least.
In a teacher's world this process comes around annually. 

So classroom transformation! 

This year, I had the fun task of not only setting up my classroom,
but moving into a whole new classroom
which added about 15 extra steps in the whole process.
Okay, okay. I tend to exaggerate. Not quite 15 extra steps, but there was extra work to be done.

First, I had to pack up my old classroom.
Most of this had been done at the end of the year.
However, when I left school in June I didn't know if I would be staying or moving grade levels.
So I had to pack kind of haphazardly. I tried to sort through most of my stuff, determining what stuff belonged to the school and would stay in that specific classroom vs. what stuff was mine and would follow me wherever I went.
But I didn't want to unpack my cabinets and desk on the off chance that I would in fact return to that very classroom. 
Packing things up to just unpack them again, putting them in the exact same spot seemed like a waste of time.
So that's what I did first.
And let me tell you, I have no doubt in my mind that if I'm not super careful I could very easily end up on TLC's Hoarders, because forreal - the amount of "stuff" I accumulated in just one year of teaching is a little ridiculous.

Nevertheless, I got it all packed and sorted.
And then began the fun process of moving all of it from one end of the school to the other.

(but not until my second extra step had been completed, obviously.)

Second, I had to clean my new room.
Because, yes, I have extreme self-diagnosed OCD and am the most type-A person you'll ever meet
and had to get my blank canvas perfectly blank before I could clutter it again with all my junk precious stuff.
Fortunately, the First Grade team had done an uhhhh-mazing job cleaning out the room before school let out so I didn't have to sort through too much junk. (No strikeout for that one. It was junk.)

I also fortunately put one of my former students to work ;) ohhh the perks of having a parent that works at school. I'm sure all you teachers can agree: child labor is completely necessary when setting up your classroom. As is husband/friend/neighbor labor.

Once my new room was appropriately cleaned and sorted, the 139723498 trips to move my stuff began.
That, my friends, was NOT an exaggeration. ;)

{For all you teacher bloggers reading, I know I don't have to say much for you to relate to the next step.
For all you non-teacher bloggers reading, anything I say at this point won't be able to truly capture the between steps. Let's just say, setting up a classroom is physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting.}

You would think it would get easier year after year.

But it was actually a lot harder this year than it was last year.
I don't know if it's because I loved the setup of my room so much last year that I kept referring back to that or what. I just know I had a really hard time visualizing how I wanted this new room to be.

The lovely "before" disaster I was working with. 

Overall, I got it done and I think I'm happy with it.
Of course, your whole perception of your classroom changes as soon as it's filled with actual children instead of the imaginary children you envision when setting everything up. 

I stuck with the jungle theme and, besides the actual layout of my classroom, I didn't really have to alter too much - well at least that's what I thought.

Come back tomorrow to see how it all came together (a whole year later).



  1. Moving a classroom is difficult. My new room stil has crates that are not unpacked yet. I know it will take time. Looking forward to seeing your jungle themed room. Mine is jungle as well... The kids love it!


  2. Look forward to seeing your 'after' pictures.

    Does it make me a geek that I spotted Tupperware Impressions bowls in your boxes of packed up stuff?