Next month I’ll kick off the 19-20 school year at a new school. This will be my 22nd year of classroom teaching and this will be my 3rd school. (I spent 16 years at the first school in which I taught. Then five years at my last school.) Changing schools is stressful for so many reasons. One of those reasons, that is a really big one for me, is moving everything from one building to another. In 21 years of teaching I have accumulated a lot. Many, many, many books. Several tables. Floor lamps. Stools and chairs of varying sorts. Some bookcases. A couch. I knew it was a lot but didn’t truly get it until we packed it up in a truck.
We filled a 10 foot truck. And had to leave some behind for a second trip. (I believe if we were professional movers we could have made it fit. My husband does not agree.) In case this wasn’t enough to shame me for my classroom excesses, we had to go through the gate at the army base on which I’ll be teaching in the fall and the guard was properly shocked by this when we opened the truck. He was, of course, exceedingly polite and respectful. But you could tell this didn’t really fit into his understanding of elementary schools.
I have come to realize that I own a classroom. Not the physical space, but everything I could possibly need for that space. There were things we left behind in my previous classroom (bookcases, tables, chairs, easel) but it was a shockingly empty space when we were finished.
Just in case this isn’t really clear yet. Here is all of my stuff in the hallways at my new school. (I fear the custodians will hate me before they get to know me.)
In a month I hope this will all look totally reasonable when it is in the physical classroom, awaiting children.