I've gone on and on about my room and life at school; so at my friend's request I'm posting some pictures of my space. Don't be fooled my the cleanness of the room. Remember this was only week one. This is the view you would see as you enter my classroom from the hall. Note the shiny waxed floors.
This picture spans the tiled area at the front of the classroom. This tiled area is great because we can keep the messy stuff off the carpet making clean-up much easier. What's messy stuff? Things like eating snacks, playing with play-do or clay, painting, building sand castles, and using any kind of liquid would be considered messy stuff in kindergarten.
Notice the section of white tiles in front of a door. Right beside the door (hidden by the shelf) is a water fountain. When I began teaching in this room the water fountain would spray water onto the floor when you turned the handle. It would over shoot the basin. The floor tiles were warped and popping up. My assistant and I tried unsuccessful several time to get the water faucet fixed. For some reason being part of the university makes it harder to get things fixed or changed than even the public school bureaucracy. So then we tried to get the tiles replaced. We were not allowed to remove the tiles ourselves.
Finally after I tripped on the tiles I called our school secretary and asked her to relay the following message to the university maintenance group. A student had tripped on the tiles and had needed first aid. (Not quite lie as I believe myself to be a life long learner and I did get myself a band-aid.) I said I was concerned that the tiles were a safety hazard and a lawsuit waiting to happen. Guess what! That day some men arrived. They told me they couldn't match the tile and we couldn't afford to re-tile the whole floor. I told them that I could care less if the tile matched or not. I just wanted the floor fixed. Because of asbestos concerns there was a debate about how to remove the tiles that were flopping around on the floor.
Finally work began on the floor. Once the flooring was completed one of the guys told me, "You know the problem is the water fountain overflowing onto the floor. It's going to ruin the floor again." I explained that I realized that but hadn't been able to get anyone to fix the handle so the water would not shoot out over the basin. The next day the tile guy sent someone over to fix the fountain handle.
This is the larger portion of my classroom and it's carpeted. The carpet is great for reducing the noise of people moving around . If you look to the left edge of the picture you'll see lattice in what appears to have the shape of a doorway and to the right you'll see a apple w/ a worm flag design in another doorway. Those are indeed doorways. I'm told that long ago the tiled area was an observation area. They could view the school aged children whose class was on the carpeted area. The open threshold was a wall with observation glass.
Now for the thrilling part, my office. On my door is the only cling to survive my remodeling cleaning frenzy. I snagged this cling at the tux place while renting a tux for my son for prom. I actually got two of them and placed the other one on someone's office door as a surprise.
The plastic photo sleeve is one of my favorite things. I put photos of the students in it during the year. As it fills up I often switch out the old photos and add new ones. Once the door is opened you can see my new and improved office space.
The entire tiled floor in here is waxed. The first in eight years. In honor of the beautiful floors I bought blue chairs and the carpet. I removed Coach Levitt (former USF football coach) from my back closet door. It was time to let go of the old era. I bought great scrapbook paper that coordinated with the carpet and framed class photos of my kindergartners from the past eight years. My first group of babies are now eighth graders.
That's my daughter's blue three-ring binder on the floor. She thinks my office is her locker.
Here is the office from the closets looking out towards the classroom. My teaching assistant's desk is to the left by the red, white, and blue bulletin board. I'm getting us new decorative wrapping paper for our bulletin boards. I just have to find the right design and colors to coordinate with "the rug".
Here is my desk and the(three) bookshelves that flank the sides of my desk. These are the three shelves where I spent countless hours parring down books and filing papers that I never filed last year. It appeared that after the first month of school I must never have put away any of the papers and forms I used because I spent three days cleaning up that mess.
To continue my remodel transformation, I need new magazine holders. Pink and black just don't do it and I need to transform the drab brown garbage can. My Bulls posters have survived the first cut. We'll see if they last the year.
A bathroom is a must have in a kindergarten room. Don't know what happened to the toilet stall door. When I moved in there was never a door just this curtain. When storage is at a premium, the bathroom floor works great for additional storage. A teacher can never have too much storage space.
The kitchen/storage area is a nice bonus as well. All you need is a sink, small refrigerator, microwave, toaster oven, and an electric skillet and you can cook just about anything.
Finally, I have a great playground right outside my exterior classroom door. The bonus to an exterior classroom door is that now with our security upgrades this door has a coded entry system. When I lock my purse with my keys in my classroom, like I did last week, I can go around to the front of the building. Then go to my door, try to remember the code and enter my room without a key or fob.
I hope you enjoyed the 2010-2011 kindergarten classroom tour. Come and visit me in action sometime.