Saturday, June 16, 2012

Death of a Classroom

Okay, I will admit my post title is overly dramatic, but it fits my mood these days.  As you might now, I posted about being moved from my classroom into a basic skills position.  This move means I will be pushing into several other teachers' classrooms to work with specific children during their literacy period.  It means no homeroom for me. There's no classroom to set up, a wonky schedule, and much more.  I really, really tried to see the positive in this move.  And, there are positives to it.

However, this week I had to pack up my classroom.  I was told to pack it up as if I were moving.  That means everything gets packed up, and that is how it shall stay. And, that is when it really hit me.  As I packed my room into box after box, I was surprised at how sad I became.  What was once a thriving classroom, a place I worked hard to make welcoming to my friends, a place where learning happened, where silly moments were enjoyed. . . well, it became this.

Books on shelves that will not be dusted off and passed out in September.

An amazing class library that is now in boxes where it will stay next year.

Empty desks that won't be used by new friends, filled with books, or need name tags.

Book crates that held the books my friends chose to read all year, now disassembled and boxed.

An empty meeting table that will not hold any meetings next year.

I think really hit me as I was packing up because every time I would pack something away, I would think about what project I would do with it or how it was used in my classroom.  Then, I started to realize that wouldn't be happening next year.  Also, there were moments where I suddenly realized things like I wouldn't be placing any Scholastic book orders anymore.  No more points to buy books.  :-(

So, if there hasn't been a lot of posting these past couple of weeks, it's because I just couldn't find much to say.  I've been in a funk. I've allowed myself to wallow in my sadness.   However, I am not a "live in the funk" kind of person.  I do know there will be positives in this move.  So, now that the room is packed up and summer has officially started (Friday was my last day!)  it is time to move on. 

I start summer school in a week.  It's only four days a week, three hours a day, for five weeks.  I will be working with some challenging kids who don't want to be there.  So, I have challenged myself to make this a FUN learning experience for them.  I have a lot of freedom within the curriculum, so it will give me lots of opportunity to be creative.  I will be sure to post about what we are up to this summer.

After summer school, I've decided to take a fun vacation at the end of August. I've never been able to take a vacation at the end of August since I've always gone in to school that last week or so to set up my room.  Since I don't have to do that this year, I am going to take advantage of the time.   I'm not sure where I want to go yet, but I want it to be FUN!!  Living by the Jersey shore, I'm at the beach all the time so I'm not looking for an island-beachy vacation.  I want to do something different, but still stay within the US. 
Any suggestions? 

I'm not exactly sure what the next school year will bring, but for now. . .


  1. Oh Nancy...
    Now I know why your kids are such good writers. Your writing tone was so clear... My heart aches for you!

    Here is my only offering...
    I would be DELIGHTED To have someone with so much talent push into my room. I would live for the planning time, the talking time, the thinking time.
    I would welcome someone else's views on my teaching and on my students.
    I would be joyous about the sharing of resources, ideas, and materials.
    I bet there is someone just like me at your school.

    There will likely be no "push in" at my school next year. Increasingly, they just want to pull out. I HATE it. It makes it hard for me and hard for the kids. It causes me to utter the dreaded words, "You weren't here when we did that..."

    I will cross my fingers that one of your colleagues will meet you with a beaming smile and a cup of coffee as you begin to plot your strategies.

    And, if that doesn't work... Move to California. I have a smile AND coffee!

    Sending you a CyberHug and encouraging thoughts...

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  2. My wife is a music teacher who taught on a cart for years. I remember how excited she was when she got her first classroom. I'm sorry that you're being put in this situation, but I am sure that you will be a blessing to the kids and teachers that you'll be working with. Thanks for all you do!

  3. Gosh, I know that you are sad. But, let me tell you this: I had a push-in teacher in my classroom this year who helped me become the teacher I am today because of her encouragement and enthusiasm. You will be able to be that person because of your great attitude and commitment :)

    Fun in Room 4B

  4. You may be loosing your classroom, but now instead of influencing just 1 classroom of friends you will have a surprising amount of influence within the culture of multiple classrooms....You are rightm There are things that you will miss may be that you find that the release of all of the "class" responsibilities will free you up for an avenue of reflective teaching that classroom teachers don't have the time for. Often our experiences which are not our favorite are our most defining. :) Enjoy your summer.

  5. I think the other comments are right. You will work hard at helping the classrooms you go into. I would think they would be glad to have such a terrific resource teacher coming into their rooms. Plus you will be working with and impacting even more students than before.

    I think you are doing a great job trying to find the positive aspects of your new position.
    I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher
    Kelly @

  6. I think your vacation is a great idea! It will be a treat and put you in a good mindset for September. Upstate NY is all outdoor parks, trails, and shops which isn't too far...but if you are planning a far away trip I would say Texas! Alaska! California! (all places I want to go!)

  7. Just think of the influence you can have and the ideas you can share with not only children but new or struggling teachers! I was push-in for 4 years and will have my first "stable" Classroom this year.

  8. I wish you could come to my room! I have been reading your blog and it's amazing. I also teach 5th grade and you will play a pivotal role in my room next year and we're not even in the same state! I bet you'll find a way to make this work brilliantly :)

    Good Luck!

    1. Thanks to everyone that posted such supportive comments. I really appreciate them all. It made me feel a lot better about the entire situation. I'm actually, maybe, looking forward to what next year brings!! Thanks so much for your support!

  9. Hi Nancy...I just found your blog and had to become a follower. Like you, I am leaving the classroom after 24 years. I will be doing combination of ESE co-teaching and RTI Level 3 support. As my friends get ready to set up their classrooms and make plans for the upcoming year, I'm at a bit of a loss as to what I should be doing. I know though, that it will all come together and I am really looking forward to a new experience. I would love to keep up with your blog and see what tips and ideas you have to share.

    1. Hi Amy! It's going to be different for us both, that's for sure! I'm excited to "meet up" with someone in a similar situation. I will be keeping up with your blog to see how it's going with you, too. :-)

  10. Your post really touched me! Just a couple of years ago I moved from K/1 to 6-8th grade math - I was terrified but now love it just as much as K/1!
    Have you ever been to Seattle? Really beautiful!