Well friends, I’ve just got a little time left in what was one of the weirdest years in my teaching career so far.
I’ve done so many different things so many different ways the last two school years it’s hard to fathom all the changes sometimes!
I never, ever would have thought I would have a YouTube channel, or that most weeks I would be recording, editing, and uploading three videos in order to connect with my students during the pandemic and post pandemic. Truthfully, I am kind of burned out on this right now. Even the shortest videos take so much time, and I can only record on the weekends, which just feels like another thing I have to do. Sigh. Plus my phone memory is full and I’m waiting on a backup drive now.
Two Classrooms in Two Buildings
This one has worked out very well with the exception of one of my rooms having the sink in the hall pod area and not in the room itself. The rough parts are travel and how sometimes I don’t get a lunchtime because of that and prep. But seeing my students grow from Pre-K to 4th grade has been incredible. I loved being able to connect with all of them and hopefully be a part of their happy school memories.
Sadly, next year I won’t see my older students. My district has taken art away from them citing dropping enrollment numbers and reorganization of staff. This is the biggest reason I did not want to teach art in the public school system and spent years teaching elementary school instead. I know how quickly these programs get cut, or their funding slashed. It hurts me deep knowing art is being taken away from these children. It’s wrong on so many levels, and I am helpless to fix it, although I’ve tried.
I am leaving it in God’s hands. I’ve always seen him make bad things into good things. When a door is closed and the rest seem locked, somewhere he opens a window!
Planning for Next Year
Oh, this is my favorite part, and perhaps the most valuable part of learning from my teaching experiences. Reflecting and planning: those are so important right now. They cannot wait until August or even July. Reflecting on what did and did not work during the year happens a lot, but at the end it all comes together to help me design what next year will be like. This is what good teachers do: they learn!
I keep a journal just for school. Here I work out all of this and plans, emotions, lists, etc. It’s such a great tool.
Supply Lists and Ordering
Part of keeping a school journal is keeping lists. These help me to plan my supply orders for next year, write grants, and yes, even spend my own money. (Which most of the time I like doing.) As an art teacher I have to keep pretty precise counts of what supplies I will need for the next year. My journal is basically a great memory tool for that.
Packing/ Moving/ Putting Up My Classroom Studios
Since I will not be in the building with grades 2-4 next year I am currently moving things out of that building; giving them away to other art teachers, putting them in my other classroom; giving them to students, etc. I’m sad, but dealing with it all pretty well.
In the building I am staying at I will really have to reorganize. I have my first grade things stored here, but now there won’t be room as I will see all of these kids every 3 days instead of 6. That’s a lot more supplies I have to have! I plan to move my first grade stuff home, to free up space. I also requested that maintenance install a large chalkboard for my students (from a school building that is closed). Hopefully it will happen! I will need to work around all these things and figure out how my room should be this year, and pick the theme for my curriculum next year, and move the giant tree, and……
Getting Our Home Ready
Every year at the end of the school year,on Memorial Day weekend we throw a huge party for all if our motorcycle friends from all over the country. We open our home and get together with everyone and enjoy seeing each other and riding! Our home becomes a huge B&B for the weekend and this too takes planning and work. Last year we did not have our party because of Covid; boy am I looking forward to it this year!
Thanks to FlyLady I won’t be running around super anxious about everything. I already have my plans and routines in place! Our house will get a deep clean and declutter, rooms will be aired, and all the towels and bedding will be washed. Food will be prepared and our front porch will be readied! Most of the cleaning is already done thanks to my routines!
Getting a Pool!
Oh yes! We are finally doing it! We are getting a pool! We decided to use our vacation money we saved up to do it! Whoo hoo! I am so excited! It’s going to be above ground, but I don’t care. I love the water and adore swimming. I look forward to some morning laps and starlight swims very soon!
Well, that’s about it. I better publish this before school is out. Time is moving fast this time of the year!
With exciting summer plans from Kansas Street,