Slice of Tuesday: Opening Day

 The Tuesday Slice of Life Writing Community is hosted by Stacey and Ruth at 

It’s early Monday morning, Opening Day.  It is still quite dark as I arrive at school, and the parking lot is empty save for our beloved custodian’s car.  I know that Bob will have turned on all the hall lights, and so I trudge up the stairs laden down with the last of the back-to-school supplies.  Our floors have been waxed to a high gloss, and everything looks sparkling clean.  This is the only day of the school year when our floors and our building will look and smell this clean – 600 middle schoolers racing down these hallways, clamoring by their lockers, charging into and out of classrooms will change all this in one day flat.  For that I am grateful.  I love the lived-in look of a school in session – the smells and sounds of kids learning signals school life for me.
I have some time to do do one last check of my little corner in this building, first, my welcome bulletin board outside the classroom – festooned with letters from last years’ sixth graders (advice, often learned the hard way):

Next, my door – thank you Pinterest for this idea, because it is exactly what I wanted to be able to say:

And, thank you Pinterest for this, too – a wonderful idea to clelebrate all the places books take us:
Then I turn my sights to the book talk baskets – these are a few of the books I read over the summer, and really want to get in the hands of my new readers:
I look over the desks, the name tags with faces to learn, and try to see it through the eyes of my kids as they first walk into the room…is this a place they will want to live in for their sixth grade year? I hope so…

The reading area looks in order, with bookshelves organized to create a bit more room for those book orders that have yet to arrive, and I know that those two red  bouncy chairs I purchased on a whim will be instant hits:

The bulletin boards are bare – awaiting all the work we will create, bit by bit.  But our Writing Center is ready to go:

The new poetry books are tucked away in their corner of our library, too:

And my corner of the room is ready, as well – the Boston Red Sox banner sure as ever to elicit looks of dismay and horror from my New York Yankees leaning crowd.

Yes, I do believe I am ready for this school year to begin…


13 thoughts on “Slice of Tuesday: Opening Day

  1. I think I wish I could have brought you a mocha or latte or some such drink! You are clearly a veteran, ready to go with every thing in its beautiful place. Happy you explained those red circles I saw on FB-what terrific looking chairs! And the door is awesome, the reading baskets so inviting-I hope you had a marvelous day Tara; I'm sure your students did!

  2. What a beautiful, inviting room! Thanks for the tour. We work so hard to get it just right, but our rooms speak volumes about who we are as teachers. I collect kids' art from year to year, and this is what they notice. They get an excited feeling knowing that creativity is honored in my room. Obviously reading and writing are important to you. Look at the lovely baskets for your books!

  3. I ask teachers, "What will make your kid's eyes light up when they enter your room on the first day?" I see many things that would light up the eyes in this room. Thanks for the tour, it will be a great year!

  4. I love how you have set up your classroom. I am not a big Pinterest user but I can see how this will be great for younger (and maybe veterans looking for fresh ideas…..) teachers. I taught from 1970 -2011! So this is the third year of retirement, however I sub, tutor, volunteer and speak about my poetry program. I am in my old school a lot (around the corner) sharing poetry with 3rd graders (my last 13 years) and wishing I could be having writers and readers workshop with my 5th graders (25 years). I think your sixth graders are very lucky to have such a beautiful classroom. Wishing I could read the titles of your poetry books, though. Can you take a closer-up view maybe? Hope the year goes well. Are you on FB? Janet F.

  5. I'd love to come sit in your library and read. Your room looks wonderful. I saw the door sign on Pinterest and never got to it. I also love the places you will go with books. I guess it's not too late. Maybe I'll have the kids add to it as they read books. Have a wonderful day! Lucky students in your room.

  6. Your room looks like such an inviting place to learn and read and grow. I know you and your students will have a fabulous year. I love the origami crane with the signposts to fictional settings! I think I'll have to make one of those for my room. Thanks for sharing!

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