Math = Love: Year One...Finished!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Year One...Finished!

I'm officially done with my first year of teaching!  It feels so weird to write those words.  I'm no longer a first-year teacher.  Well, I guess I'm not really a second-year teacher yet.  I feel like I'm in that awkward in-between stage...  This year went by way faster than I imagined possible.  It seems like I was just learning my students' names a few weeks ago. 

I've been slowly taking everything down off of my classroom walls and bulletin boards this week.  Of course, this started rumors that I was leaving and not coming back.  I had to reassure them that I was planning on coming back.  It felt good knowing that I would be missed if I left.  Though, I am disappointing druinok by not applying for a job at her school... 

I'm excited to create new bulletin board designs and posters for my classroom this summer.  I spend a lot of time in my classroom, and I want to enjoy my scenery.  At the beginning of this school year, walking into my room would bring a smile to my face.  Over the course of the year, that newness wore off.  So, I'm hoping to regain some of that magic by changing things up.  I will definitely reuse a lot of the posters.  But, I hope to add lots of new stuff, too.  I want my new group of students to feel like they are coming into a classroom that has been prepared just for them.  And, I want my old group of students to stop by to say hi and see what's the same and what's different.    

It was really funny to see my students reactions when they walked into my de-decorated classroom.  Without all of the bright colors and posters, it's just kinda bland.  Students would walk in and exclaim that something was wrong.  One girl told me that my room looked naked without anything on the walls.  They would repeatedly say, "I don't like this."   

Clean Up In Progress

Students notice these things.  I am one of only two math teachers at my high school.  The other math teacher and I have completely opposite opinions about what our classrooms should look like.  I have lots of brightly colored bulletin boards, posters, and student artwork covering my walls.  I even have origami hanging from my ceiling.  The other teacher has clean, empty walls.  I can see benefits to both, but I don't think I could ever give up my festive decorations. 

I shouldn't have to spend near as much time getting my room ready this summer.  Last summer, I had to paint the classroom, hang a dry erase board, hang four bulletin boards, and move several pieces of furniture.  This will give me more time to revamp my curriculum to reflect everything that I have learned during this whirlwind of a year.  Here in Oklahoma, we have one more year where our students will be tested over our state standards.  However, I need to start transitioning to the Common Core State Standards at the same time.  I want to start this next school year with my entire curriculum mapped out for the year.  This is something that I really wasn't able to do this year.     

Tomorrow is graduation.  Five of my students will be graduating and moving on to their next adventure in life.  I am excited for them and sad to see them go at the same time.  As I have more and more students go through my classroom, I'm sure the graduation ceremony will become more and more emotional.  In a few years, I should reach a point where every single student in the high school will go through my classroom.   


  1. You're right - that makes me sad :( I really hoped that you would apply at my school because you would be an awesome addition! But I understand your feeling too. I grew up in a small town/school and never thought I would like teaching at a big school, but I do. If you change your mind, let me know! :)

  2. Congrats! I always start looking forward to next fall right about...NOW!

  3. Congrats, Sarah! You definitely should keep your walls festive.

    1. Thanks! I hope you know that your blog has been a great inspiration to me. And, I already have plans to make my walls more colorful and festive than ever before. :)