There were a ton of things on my to-do list this morning:
- Whole class Zoom meeting with students
- Second COVID vaccination (hopefully with no side effects–no time for that!)
- Get those report cards done!!!!
- Lesson plans for next week–and for coming back to a full classroom after spring break
- Figure out how to fit 25 students in my classroom seated 3 feet apart (it was 4 feet last week, but change is the watchword this year!)
- Respond to student work, especially the poetry that we are starting in anticipation for National Poetry month in April
Once I got through the Zoom meeting and driving through the livestock barn at the local fairgrounds for my second Pfizer vaccine, the only thing I could focus my energy on was rearranging the classroom.
So instead of fighting that urge and heading into report card writing without a true focus, I decided to just commit myself to the physical task, knowing that once done I would have space in my mind (and a lowered anxiety level) to buckle down to the other tasks.
There were so many tables! The room felt tight, with no room to breathe. Something would have to go. I’m not really good at envisioning space–I just have to move stuff, and then move it again until I get it right. So, I started dragging tables from here to there, folding over the area rug for easier movement, and considering just what I could live without.
After smashing my finger between two tables (it’s looking a bit purple on the knuckle), emptying the big kidney shaped table to move it across the room, and throwing my sweatshirt onto a chair, the space started to come together. Once I had a general vision that I thought would work, I texted our custodian, asked him to bring his measuring tape, and requested his assistance.
I tried the kidney table in its new position–but no, everything still felt too crowded. With C’s help, we determined in addition to losing the kidney table, I could also get rid of a student table and still have adequate seating (distanced) for 25. We measured and checked, pushed and pulled until things fell into place. Now there are walking spaces, working spaces, sitting spaces, and distance. I think this will work!
Obviously in my hierarchy of needs, getting this physical space right superseded the report cards and lesson plans. And now that this physical work is done, I know what lies ahead of me for the next few days. I will have some long stretches attached to the computer, entering grades and writing comments in preparation for the parent conferences that will come at the end of next week. The lesson plans are already dancing in my head as I look forward to having students do their school work in the classroom full time instead of at home part of the time.
I’ll get those report cards and lesson plans done–they always get done. But I do feel better now that the space is organized.
Your classroom is lovely! If you have any extra time, this new teacher could use your decorating tips! Lol.
I always feel like setting up the physical space of my classroom is the most important, and foundational, step. It is one of the great sadnesses for me that, in the new land of covid, I have lost all my furniture and my room is simply row after row of plastic school desks. I’m glad you were able to take care of what you needed, bruised finger and all.
I was able to give those rows of desks back and regain my tables. That was satisfying!
I can totally relate to your need to get the physical space ready before tackling other tasks. Your room looks great! Bright and inviting! I wish you the best of luck with all of your upcoming “To do”s. I just finished up report cards and am heading into conferences tonight.