Today was the official start to the school year for teachers in our district. While many teachers soaked up every possible second of summer, I found myself eager to get moved into my new classroom (which, ironically, was the one I had for my first 3 years of teaching in my school) and get set up for the year. I also knew that work-week would get pretty crazy with meetings, trainings, and catching up with friends I haven’t seen for a while. If I’m not mistaken, this year it took me about 4-5 full days to arrange my furniture, completely unpack my boxes, hang posters and create bulletin boards, and put my desk, supply tables, and supply shelves together. Oh my.

My favorite part of my classroom: the “We Love Mrs. K” board and my “Funny Quotes” board.

I think I’ve spent so much time on Pinterest this summer that I should get horizontal advancement credit. I went nuts downloading and making all kinds of things that I can’t wait to apply in my classroom. But, these two bulletin board are ALL ME. That’s right folks, ALL ME. They’re my favorite. One is a “We Love Mrs. Kindred” board. I’m sure other teachers can relate: we all get so many sweet things from our loving students, and I like to display them so that they know that it’s appreciated. And, frankly, it makes me feel better to see these things when I’m having a hard day, sort of like a rainy-day book that’s always open. I always start the year with a few things I’ve kept out from last year (they all have my maiden name on them… oh well), then as my current students give me things, I take off the old and add on the new.

The other is my “Funny Quotes” board. My students and I LOVE this thing. All kids say the funniest things, and I use this to keep track of them. When a student says something that has us all rolling around on the floor laughing, I write it down with their name, type it up, and put it on the wall. Again, I start the year with some classics from the previous year, then add the new ones and take down the old ones. By the end of the year, the whole wall can cheer up even the saddest of students (and teachers, if necessary).

student nook
A couple of new things I’m trying this year: a drop box and conference poster.

Back to the new stuff. Bless Pinterest and all its awesomeness as I found both of these ideas there. The first is the “I need a math conference” board. Each of my 6th graders will have a clothespin with their name on it (hanging from a ribbon that corresponds to their turn-in box labels — I’m so type A it’s kinda sickening), and during work time, if he or she is having a rough time, they can take their clothespin and clip it on the posterboard. I’ll pull off the clothespins and have conferences with kiddos as needed. Hopefully, this will give me some of the one-on-one time I know some kids really need from me. The Drop Box is really just to help me out — my kids turn in homework and classwork to their turn-in boxes, but there are so many times that they have other things that they want to give me that I tell them to put on my desk. I can’t get anything done when my desk is messy, so loose papers completely freak me out. My fingers are crossed that this will keep some of the clutter off of my desk.

More photos and ideas to come!