Friday, September 5, 2014

Day 5 - The Classroom

Day 5 of the Reflective Teaching 30 Day Blogging Challenge

Post a picture of your classroom, and describe what you see–and what you don’t see that you’d like to. 

(I forgot to take a picture, I'll add it tomorrow)

This is somewhat difficult one for me, for several reasons, but primarily because I've joined a colleague in her classroom this year as the 2nd teacher. 

Inspirational Quotes/artwork - Montessori classrooms don't hang a lot of stuff on the walls, instead, they're mostly bare. "Montessori classroom walls are traditionally bare and visually quiet to focus the children’s attention on the learning materials on the shelves."  (Community Playthings) While I'm not a fan of overdecorating classroom walls and I try to keep things to a minimum because I do agree that it can help children focus, I do miss some of my inspirational quotes and photos, decorations, etc. We ended up removing some of our bulletin boards in the hallway, which actually worked out well as it brightened up the space and we ended up hanging some of these things in the hall. My partner would like to paint a mural with the children.  I have no idea what this will look like but it will be an interesting process, for sure!

Teaching Material Space - Montessori classrooms don't have teacher desks, but I wish I had somewhere to put more of my teaching materials.  Last year, our school got rid of traditional teacher desks in favour of horseshoe/kidney tables instead, which I loved, as I could then work at a table with lots of room to work with kids, but still near a shelf to put my books, etc.  I'm still figuring out where to put my things in this class, as I do not have a table "assigned" to me, but I do have three shelves of a bookcase - which I promptly crammed full of materials and books and now need to organize (see Item #1)!  I'm not sure if a table for myself is what I "wish" I could see or just what I'm still used to.  In lieu of that, I've created a "portable desk" in a bag, which I keep with me as I move around the class.  It holds my laptop, upcoming assignments, teacher planner/emergency contact lists/etc, pens/pencils, stapler/paper clips, etc. so that I can do my work anywhere in the classroom whenever I have a prep period or a spare moment.  I just need to get hanging file folders so that I can best maximize the usage of this bag, too! At this point, I'd like to see more organization among my items, but that will come with some more experience in this space and a better understanding of what I need - we've only had four days of school so far.

Pets - I have two classroom pets (a Betta fish and an African Dwarf frog) from my previous teaching years that I would like to bring into the classroom to add to the shelf with my partner's already resident hermit crab.   I'm not sure if there's space, but we'll see.

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