The day after school ended, I packed up my classroom in record time (i.e. just one day, a record for me!) so that I could leave for the Boothbay Literacy Retreat the very next day. My last memory of my room was one of boxes piled high, with every bit of furniture labeled with my classroom number in the hopes that they would all somehow make it back once our fabulous custodians had completed their magic. Now, with a little more than two weeks to go, it is time to turn my thoughts and energies back to room 202 once again. I’ve spent most of my summer thinking about what we will be learning and doing in the new school year, of course, but now I need to start thinking about preparing our learning space- the room in which it all will (hopefully) take place very soon. Every year is a new year, and although the physical dimensions of my room dictate that there is little flexibility in how I can create a layout that allows for a reading/meeting area and a desk area, I keep a running list of “things to change up next year” so that our space looks just different enough to be refreshing. I have a game plan (sort of). Now, I just have to get going.
This morning, I read Katherine Sokolowki’s lovely post in which she described her preparations (and, especially, about her very special helper), and suddenly I just had to be in my classroom again – not to begin unpacking (tomorrow!), but simply to feel the classroom vibes again. As I drove into town, I began to see my people again: kids from long ago, and kids from just last June, and I could feel my heart begin to beat faster. At one stoplight, the person behind me began to honk and yell; mystified, I turned around and saw an ex-student who was actually yelling, “I got my licence, Mrs. Smith! Woo hoo!!” (I have no anonymity in this town – I’ve been driving the same bumper sticker festooned mini van for many years now.) Yeah, I’m back with my people again.
My classroom is a mess of boxes and jumbled together furniture. Nothing looks as it did or will. But I recognized the space, I felt the vibe, and I was filled with anticipation and excitement for the new year. I thought of all my blogging and Twitter friends who have been writing about feeling this way, too. I remembered our summer conversations about fabulous new YA books, PD books, teaching ideas, technology finds. We’ve all spent time with our families, traveled, enjoyed magnificent meals and wonderful picnics, and even spent time doing nothing more than watching sunsets and thunderstorms. And now our thoughts turn to our classrooms…
…it feels good to be getting back into the school year rhythm, again.