A Day In the Life, Gripes

Tick Tock

Yesterday I had a surprisingly busy day. It was Mr. Art Teacher’s birthday and we hadn’t planned anything since we weren’t sure if we would be home or at the hospital for it. Since we ended up being home (this little girl has decided to be fashionably late), we threw together some last minute plans. I contacted friends, made dinner arrangements, and whipped together a black forest cake with chocolate ganache and chocolate whipped frosting (it was delish!). On top of that I had a doctor’s appointment, which took a little longer than normal because they did an NST (non-stress test). The baby passed with flying colors. Prior to the appointment, I had stopped in at one of my schools. I needed to drop my laptop off to have some work done on it and make sure it would be available for my sub to use while I’m out.

Seeing the school getting ready for the new year was kind of surreal. I have barely given going back to work any thought. Actually, that’s not true. I’ve given it a lot of thought, but mainly along the lines of how awful it’s going to be when I do have to go back after having the baby. The realty of going back to work, the teaching, the art work, the students, had barely crossed my mind all summer as I focused on the end of my pregnancy. It was rather startling and exciting to realize that I miss being at work. As difficult as it will be for me to return, I know that I’ll be in a comfortable, welcoming and familiar place and that as hard as it will be, I’ll be supported and have any help that I need.

Unfortunately, I also received news yesterday morning that I’ll be losing my classroom because of an increase in student numbers and a need for a few more regular classrooms. This was upsetting (but unbelievably, nothing I’m stressing out over). I was really looking forward to returning to the one classroom that I could call my own (I work at a second school where I share a room with another teacher). I had it set up perfectly for my needs, my students’ needs, and my teaching style. I know how to teach in that space, which I imagine is something non-teachers wouldn’t understand, but us teachers understand that different spaces require different teaching strategies. Now I’ll find myself returning in October, having to adapt to a new space. On the plus side, there’s plans to build me a new space. On the downside, they’re building my room in the pod, which is a very, very small space. With class sizes sometimes in the 30s, I can’t imagine how I’ll manage in what I’m expecting to essentially be a large closet. I guess I can at least be happy that I’ll have sinks and cabinets, something my other room didn’t have. But I guess this isn’t my problem right now, so I’m not giving it too much thought. I do feel bad for my sub though, who will be tasked with putting the room together.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been in this position. Last year all three of my art rooms were new (to art), as was the art room I had at the job before that, and the job before that. Now that I think about it, I guess I’ve always had to deal with putting together a new room every school year. It’s rather enjoyable for me to start with a blank slate, organize it how I want, and make it my own. Unfortunately, I really am having a hard time getting past the small size. *Sigh*

But, no time to think about all that now, as I’m currently watching the clock, tracking contractions, and wondering (hoping) that today might be the day!

Have you ever lost your classroom a week before school starts? Have you ever had your room significantly downsized? How did you deal?


7 thoughts on “Tick Tock

  1. Yup. I'm there again now, waiting for the dreaded '8 day count' that will determine if I keep my room or go a la cart again. :-/ What sucks is that the 8 day count, is OF COURSE 8 days after the kids come back. So I'm stuck going back this week to prep a room, start teaching, and then possibly lose the room and be forced to condense down to a cart again in 2 weeks.
    Last time this happened, I was told just before the kids came back that I had lost my room. What I did was dug in my heels a bit (pointing out that there was NOWHERE in the building that could hold my stuff!) and shared a room with the ED teacher. We set up a floating wall in the back 4th of the room– she had the front, I had the cubbies,closet and a space like a bowling alley. However- it allowed me to have space for my stuff, a sink to wash up materials at days end, an 'office' of sorts, and a parking space for my cart. Not a bad compromise. This is actually what I'll do again if I lose my room this year. It was the most feasible solution. Since the ED teacher only ever had MAYBE 5 kids at a time, it seemed kind of lame that she would need a whole room. Our solution worked out really well actually!


  2. I lost my room, 1/2 of a small portable, at 3:00 the day before school started! Yuck! I had some help and had to throw everything on the stage with the PE stuff, and I got an “art cart”. Then three days later they had me trade buildings with another teacher, “to even out the numbers.” So I had to leave the mess to the other teacher, but I got his old room that was a mess too. 🙂 Four years later, I have never had the same room twice.
    Gotta love how flexible we can be!


  3. I did lose my room a couple of years in a row. First time I ended up “trying” to teach in basically an alcove of the front hall by the office. Needless to say it was very distracting. The second time I had to teach a la cart. Fortunately my principal worked it out that I got my room back both times by October. It was quite an adjustment…but I did it. Being an art teacher involves going with the flow I guess. Hope baby girl is here soon.


  4. I taught in a large school (over 850 kids) and lost my room. I ended up setting up my storage space in the custodians closet. I had two carts, one on each floor (with 5 minutes in between classes I did alot of running). The following year I took another closet over..and it had an old toilet in it…seems after a while it started giving off gases (that's why I was SO sick!). I left the following year.

    One school I taught in I taught in the same space as the music teacher (at the SAME time!) we had a curtain. I taught one class that day in the gym as well….and I was pregnant at the time.

    Another school I taught in the hallway.

    I did lose the designed 'art room' a few years back and had to go into a classroom, regular size. It was so sad…I had so much room before and racks, etc..the preschool is in there now. I try not to dwell…but my principal knows if I lose this room, he loses me.

    Hope the little one makes her grand entrance soon! First babies can be late comers! Best of luck! Enjoy!

    Its amazing we all go thru these things and still teach.


  5. Gee, I am so thankful to have my classroom after reading your stories! I have been in the same classroom for 25 years! Once or twice the subject of dividing it was brought up, but never happened…thank goodness!


  6. I have taught at the same school for 7 years and I have been in 5 different rooms… which were never the ones I was assigned the first day- until I got my portable. My drab, windowless, bug-infested, dilapidated double-wide. This, my 8th year, is the first year in several that I have been inside the building, and only the second time I've had running water in my room. I was always upset with my change or lack thereof, but I've learned to be flexible. I think it's a job requirement, actually. I have also learned that when the kids start coming, or I start going to them, I realize that they don't really care how art comes to them. They're just glad to have me and that kind of washes away the bitterness enough for me to deal. It's easier to remember why I'm there when the kids become part of the equation.


  7. My 2nd year of teaching I lost my room (and my 1st grade students) the first week of school and spent several weeks teaching my new class (a 1st, 2nd, 3rd grade multi-level) on the stage of the Auditorium until a new room became available. Ugh! What a memory!!


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