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.