Never Gave That a Thought

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Yesterday I was talking with a friend and somehow we got on the subject of school and in particular classrooms.  I mentioned how I would always go into school a week or so before school actually started to organize and get my classroom ready for the first day the students entered my room.  I mentioned how I would put up bulletin boards so that students would not come into an empty, institutionalized-looking room.

He just looked at me and said, “I never thought of that.”  He said that if he came into my room he would probably comment on how it looked and what was up, but never gave a thought to how things got up in the first place.

I guess it never dawned on me that some people really don’t understand that making a welcoming environment for students doesn’t just happen.  The bulletin board fairy doesn’t come in, wave her magic wand and poof- bulletin boards and an organized room appear.

I started thinking about all that teachers do that people don’t realize.  Teaching is not a 7:30 – 2:30 (my case) job.  Someone has to make the room appealing and conducive to learning.  Someone has to get materials organized for the lessons that will be taught.  After all, we don’t have a full office staff that will do those things for us.

When the bell rang at 2:30 to signal the end of the school day, my day did not end.  There were always things to do in the classroom to get ready for the next day.  There was always something to take home and look at so that papers could be returned to students the next day.

So, to all of you teaching, I hope you have a fantastic 2014-2015 school year.  To those who are retired, enjoy.  You have touched countless lives.

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13 Comments

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13 responses to “Never Gave That a Thought

  1. This made me smile. I had never thought of asking for a bulletin board fairy, now there’s an idea! Getting the room ready takes a lot of work – but (as my slice today indicates) I have a lot of fun doing this.

  2. I have greatly appreciated the social media information about how much a teacher should really be paid/how much a teacher saves families in child care/how much work a teacher does outside of the 8-3 time period. This falls into this category. You write with such poise – as you provided your answer. Thank you, on behalf of all parents (and teachers) for all of the extra you put in to making your students room and year magical!

  3. Unless you have a personal connection to school, you don’t know what goes into the preparation for teaching.

  4. So many people are unaware of how many things have to get done outside of school hours. This is a great reminder for ‘those people.’

  5. I guess you’re right, many don’t realize all that happens in class, for class, by the teachers. Bet we could write an entire book of those things teachers do, all the things for students, for parents, for the classrooms, for colleagues, for education. See, just beginning… Thanks a lot for sharing your “aha” moment!

  6. Judy C.

    I agree, people who are not “in the know” haven’t a clue as to the amount of “extra” time a teacher spends in getting everything ready and in order, just to make the room look inviting. And then there is all the extra preparation that goes into lessons and planning and grading. It’s just not something that non-teachers think about. Kuddos to all of the teachers who spend that extra time and work to teach our kids. I, too, wish them a fantastic school year.

  7. Great post to honor those still in the classroom. I’m looking forward to bouncing into my old school with treats occasionally. I live in the community where I taught. Speaking of that all important classroom environment, I love peeking into classrooms. Pics of my niece’s room make me want to go back to 4th grade. I’m looking forward to visiting her classroom this year!

  8. I love this. Teaching is more like an eternal job – no matter what we do, it’s for someone or to teach someone something, and it never truly stops. Often, the little things that we put together to help everything function go unnoticed.

  9. One year I was delayed on my vacation and did not get back home until the day before school started. I had called the superintendent to tell him I’d be there…but might miss the first meeting. That was when I taught 5th grade and knew I would not be able to make a good bulletin board to welcome the students. So…when all else fails…I welcomed the students with an empty room…told them that this was everyone’s room and we needed to make it feel like a good place to learn. They loved it to my relief.

  10. High school teachers don’t do enough to create that atmosphere you are talking about. I have to take my lead from elementary teachers I loved 🙂 Tara Smith knows who to create a great environment. I’m a lucky visitor.

  11. Thank you for the well wishes and thank you for touching lives. You mean there is not a bulletin board fairy…or a paper grading fairy…or lesson planning fairy!

  12. Nice to know that those who know still think of us still in classrooms… thanks.

  13. So much thought and care go into each teaching day. When the kids leave is time to start again. Trials and risk. We are just humans trying to put a large number of littler humans into an relatively small space to learn. Although it isn’t magic, it can be quite miraculous.

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