Saturday, August 31, 2013

BIG news and classroom pics

My BIG news is .......I changed schools at the last minute!

A week and half before school started I was offered a teaching job I couldn't pass up. The K-12  private school I started my career at was in need of a 1st and 2nd grade Language Arts teacher (they departmentalize.) My husband recently went back to work there in June (we met there and he even proposed on campus, but that's another story.) He is the Technology Curriculum Director and we were able to get our two boys to attend as well. I am so excited that they will receive such a stellar education and get to experience the small, family atmosphere that we LOVED when we taught there 13 years ago!

It was a crazy whirlwind to pack up one room, move in to another 25 minutes away (without traffic), be trained in a very specific program (Spalding) and get my boys registered, uniforms, etc. It was pretty stressful, I will admit.

We just finished our 2nd week and Back to School Night so I finally feel like I can breathe! The new staff is really nice and my teammates are so sweet they have been doing the copying for me with sticky notes to indicate which is homework and which is classwork (pretty set curriculum.)

I am really enjoying just teaching Language Arts. Even though I miss the other subjects, it is such a relief to be able to solely focus on one subject! The best part class has only 14 students, the other 16. That is HALF as many kids as I am used to teaching!!! And I have no behavior problems. Don't get me wrong, I have some blurters and some chatters, but no REAL behavior problems. The biggest issue I deal with is the students with a lack of focus. I know, you are crying for me. :-) It is such a relief after the stressful last few years I've had. I noticed I have not been nearly as tired in the evenings. I remember I usually feel completely wrung out the first week but I didn't this year.

The funniest thing is some of my former students are now parents at the school. (No, I am not that old! I used to teach 7-9th grades and I was just starting out, remember?!) I have one girl in my class whose mother I taught. CRAZY!

Ready for some pics?
My campus is just K-2 and tiny. I love it! 
My 6th grade son attends the Middle Campus (3-6) just down the street. My husband and 8th grade son are at Upper Campus (7-12) 5 minutes away.

Parents drive in two lanes and students are loaded in/out of cars for efficiency.

Kinder wing


My wing. I am on the first floor thank goodness.

Building on the left is the office, staff room, etc.

View from my door. David's are from Fall Into First

The mishmash of colored bins were already here. I'm sure my OCD will compel me to do something about it when I have more time...
Those old laptops were being used to Star Test until I told them we could use the 10 ipads in my closet it we just downloaded the free app!
Yippee!!!! I finally have a Smartboard! Now I just need to figure out how to use it well.

I haven't had desks in rows in soooo long!  ;-) 
Walk-in closet and more storage here!
The Spalding beige posters are drab but part of the program.
It is amazing that 1st and 2nd graders switch classes like High School! They come in,  grab their supply tray and slide it into their desk. That way the same desks can be used for different classes. These trays were all different with orange, purple, and red but the rainbow was too distracting for me so I was able to switch them out to just 3 colors for a more calming effect.
Maybe something like this? Pic from U Name It!
I want to get a painted teacher chair for this reading corner.  

This would match my current theme!  No link :(
If you have any links to cute chairs please send them my way. They don't have to be red and black, that was just a coincidence. 

I hope you are all having a TERRIFIC return to school!



  1. Jenn,
    I am so happy for you! I know you had some rough years so you are so deserving of this! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
    Love to you,

    1. Thanks, Camille! You are always so sweet! We really need to meet up one day.

  2. The campus looks beautiful. It seems much calmer than my campus. I think it would be great to teach there!

    I know you'll finish off your room just the way you want it soon, but it works for now. Many blessings for a wonderful year.

    (I am super jealous that you are not exhausted, since that's how I've been for two weeks now. Praying that we will really calm down next week.)

  3. Everything is gorgeous! Wow, you've had an eventful month! I'm excited to follow your adventures this year.

    I think I've "switched places" with you...moved from a small private school to a large urban district. My new commute takes 45 minutes without traffic, each way. Light a candle for me? ;-)
    Chrissy ReadWriteSing

  4. Congratulations! Best wishes this school year.

  5. Wow, what an incredible-looking school!! I'm so happy for you Jenn!!! :)

  6. Wow, your new school looks amazing. It almost looks like a holiday resort. All you need is the pool or is there one there already?
    Congratulations, you must be very excited.

    Classroom Fun

  7. Congratulations Jenn! It looks wonderful! It's funny since I just left lunch with a friend who told me I should take the k position to work at their school...
    good luck!
    and I LOVE the ladybug chair!

  8. Wow! What a gorgeous place to work!!! I am officially jealous! Congrats on the new job! Here's a link to my royalty style chair (I use it for an author's chair):

    Teaching in the Tongass

  9. Congrats!! Your school looks amazing. Have a great, relaxing year!

    First Grade Lyons' Den

  10. So fantastic!! I'm so happy for you!
    Your school looks amazing!!! :)

  11. Congrats on your new job! I kinda did the same thing over the summer and had to take up an amazing teaching opportunity closer to home. :) So happy for you!

    Sailing into Second

  12. Congrats on your new job! I'm loving your school!!!

  13. Congratulations Jenn! I hope you have a relaxing year. Your campus looks beautiful!

    First Grade Shenanigans

  14. Your new school is BEAUTIFUL! I have been a long time follower of your blog and I almost died of excitement when I saw my No! David project hanging in your classroom! YAY!
    -Angie Neal

  15. Your school is adorable. I want to come and work with you. It looks picture perfect. I am so happy to hear a lovely start up story. Happy for you and your family.
    Julie :-)
    Mrs Stowe's Kinder Cottage

  16. Your school looks so charming! My district switched to departmentalizing last year, so I teach math to all the firsties. Not being able to teach reading is a drawback to departmentalizing, but overall I actually really like it! I was surprised at how well the kids adapted to it, and I really like getting to know all of the kids.

    How do you like it so far?

    - Katy

    First Grade Kate

  17. Your school is beautiful!! It looks like a resort on Cape Cod or something. I'm do you like Spalding? I just started to implement it, too, and I feel very...overwhelmed and intimidated. If you have any tips as you go along, I'd appreciate it.

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