Preparing For The Role

In a stack of papers called Instruction.

  • Aug
  • 22
  • 2008

I filled the last few days with trips to the dumpster and at least eight hours per in my classroom. From cleaning out a colleague’s room (nice guy and pack rat par excellence) to sifting through my own cupboards (a fine hoarder in my own right), our trash compactor is working overtime.

I’m getting over my concern about throwing away books. Your dusty class set of anthologies from two book-adoptions ago has some good stories in it. But if it’s from 1979, if you haven’t cracked it open with your kids in the last 3 years, throw the set away. You don’t need to keep them simply because they are books and Ray Bradbury would shake his head.

How does the environment your students walk into impact the way they interact with what you sell each day? How does it effect the way you sell it? I’m not just talking about posters on the walls and books on the shelves. I’m talking empty boxes in corners, stacks of papers on the floor, clutter behind your desk, cabinets full of what you know is junk. What message does it communicate about you and your job and your content area?

It really all boils down to preparing for the role and there’s not much time left to do it. If my room is clean, if I feel good about my organization, if I look around the room with a sense of accomplishment, all of that comes through on Day One.

It’s well past time, so what are you doing to prepare for your role? We’ll talk about Day One next.


1. Jackie Ballarini says:

[8/22/2008 - 3:36 pm]

I spent most of the time that I was not in meetings sorting through and throwing things away – mostly for the reasons you described.

2. George says:

[8/23/2008 - 4:23 am]

I spent most of the week, about 80%, in meetings. Anytime we had a break, even for ten minutes, I would rush back to my room and work on it. Needless to say, they are kind enough to let us come in today, on Saturday, on our own time, to finish up. It’s interesting how you get an immediate feeling when you walk into some classrooms. The environment you set up definitely says a lot about who you are. You going to post any pictures of your room Todd?

3. Todd says:

[8/23/2008 - 10:37 am]

Jackie and George, what kinds of meetings were you in? Were you required to go to those meetings? Just curious what kinds of responsibilities other schools are putting onto teachers.

I suppose I could rustle up some pictures, though I hadn’t planned on it. There’s nothing spectacular about my room, just that I feel it’s cleaner.

My school decided to stay open last weekend and this weekend. That’s kind of them. I was there last weekend, but I have no plans to trek down there today or tomorrow. Monday will come soon enough.

4. George says:

[8/23/2008 - 12:56 pm]

Hey Todd. All sorts of meetings, all required. I’m starting my 5th year, and I’ve always felt that we aren’t given enough time to organize and prepare the week before school starts. I personally think that the time should be split 50/50. Give us half the time on our rooms, and the rest in meetings. One of my beefs.