Go. Be Awesome.

I have spent the last few days in my classroom(s) preparing for the new year!  I am super excited about a few small changes to the art room.

1) STOOLS!!!!!! Okay so maybe I am a little too excited about this purchase (shout out to all you awesome parents who purchased their kids artwork from our Young Masters program last year!).  My room at my home school is pretty small and once it is filled with 28 kids - some sitting, some standing.... Basically the chairs stick out and we all end up high-stepping over them - or tripping.  The stools can be pushed UNDER the tables when kids stand!  YAY STOOLS!

2) Go.  Be Awesome.      Enough said.       Okay, I will explain.  My awesome friend, Lisa, who I have known since 5th grade (she teaches in North Dakota - middle school - bless her) inspired this little diddy above my door.  Years ago we were visiting and she pulled out her laptop to check something and in the corner there was a small label that simply said "live with purpose".  I can't remember if I asked her about it or not - but it stuck with me.  A small little reminder in a location you always pass - a reminder to live with purpose.  I decided to transfer this to my classroom with a little more pizazz and a little less philosophy.  Go.  Be awesome.

3) A new layout.  I had never thought about putting my tables like this, but when the custodians put back my room after the most amazing wax job, they put it back like this.  I love how much extra room there is to move around - more room at the sinks, more floor working space.  The cons if this arrangement might be that kids are too close and end up in each others space or are too close to their  goofy friends.  I am going to test it out and see where it goes.

4) (there is no picture for this).  Today at our District wide kick off assembly our superintendent was recapping positive things from last year..... improved test scores by so much percent, awards to awesome teachers and staff, number one art Ed blog..... Wait.... What?  Yup!  My blog ended up on the highlights roll from last year.  I was surprised.  It was pretty awesome.  



A New Beginning

It's that time of year, summer is done, but not quite over.  There are still a few days left to enjoy afternoon naps on the couch or by the pool on sunny days.

This is the time of year where I get excited and nervous.  This fall will start my 6th year of teaching and while I don't pretend to have this job anywhere near mastered, it also feels kind of silly that I get so anxious.  I start to have dreams where I show up and have no idea what I am doing, that the kids are out of control and they won't listen to me - that I miss the first day of school because I have it written down wrong.  None of these things have ever happened, but clearly they are things I fear - perhaps all teachers have these thoughts/feelings.

While these things run through my subconscious, my excitement grows as I put my room back together after the summer deep cleaning, and plan lessons.  

As I start to plan the beginning of the year lessons, I remember and realize that my kinders will need to be taught how to put caps on markers, how to use scissors (including what scissors are allowed to cut), and so many other things we forget we learned at some point.  Kinders at the beginning of the year are a lot like a pack of energetic puppies - they love school, have no personal space, and totally out number you.  The older kids are a bit easier to plan for as they can hit the ground running since this is our 3rd year together - but new seating charts, new classes of kids, and a new art room set up will require some instructions.

Actually, if I am to be frank - while I love the start of the school year with the new beginnings and  seeing how much the students have grown emotionally, mentally and physically - I DESPISE the first 3 or so weeks of school.  It's a lot of rules, procedures, reminders, practice and enforcing it all.  I prefer when we all get in a groove and the kids have tested all (most) of the rules, we have established expectations and we can get on with art.   The first few weeks can be exhausting and tedious, but are totally worth it for a smoother year!

Keep posted to Organized Chaos for a year of projects, stories, and pictures.