Monday, August 15, 2011

The End is Here

Summer vacation is over!  How depressing is that?  After a paid, kid-free work day today for meetings and working in our room, the kids start school tomorrow.

“How nice,” you must be thinking.  “Those rich, part-time teachers even get a half day to get their room ready before the kids start school.”

And you’d be right.  We ARE given a half day to prepare our classrooms.  Unfortunately, that’s not nearly enough time when your classroom looks like this after summer is over.

stuff 024 stuff 022 stuff 023 You see, when the end of the school year finally arrives, we are required to take everything down and put everything away so summer cleaning can take place over vacation. 

On a side note, this is how clean my classroom was when I first visited about 2 weeks ago…
stuff 025Yah, those are two dead flies on my windowsill.  Clean as a whistle!

We pretty much have to move into our classroom again before the year can begin.  In fact, during my first visit about two weeks ago, I spent the entire day just setting up the furniture, putting things away, and finding things I had to shove in a cupboard or drawer before leaving on summer vacation.  To put that in perspective, I watched the entire season 2 of Sons of Anarchy while working and continued to work about 2 hours after the series was over (wishing season 3 would come out on dvd already).  And that was just setting up the room.

A few days after opening the doors for the new year, I went shopping for school supplies.  Luckily, my school district does provide paper and pencils and the biggest necessities.  However, there are a lot of things that I need but aren’t provided.  stuff 026I spent about $100 on crayons, folders, glue sticks, ball point pens, pencil boxes, name tags, and other odds and ends to get us started - that’s even before the school year begins.  Thank goodness I’m so overpaid!

The following week, I spent a day working with my team.  We worked on preparing some upcoming units.  After finishing that, I had a couple of hours left to put posters and charts up on the wall.

Just this past Friday, I went back in for about four more hours to organize the supplies and to plan for the upcoming week.
stuff 027
stuff 028  
Today was our first required day back to school as teachers.  We returned for a couple of meetings that promised to be weren’t short at all and then had the remainder of the day to work in our room.  I prepared name tags, made the seating chart, got student desks ready, and finished some last minute things to make sure I was prepared for tomorrow. 
stuff 030 
After a few hours, a few days, a few weeks my classroom is physically ready for new kiddos to arrive first thing tomorrow morning. 
stuff 032 stuff 031Now if only their teacher were mentally ready.  Wish me luck!


  1. It all sounds so glamourous!

    Earning money doing nothing except
    spending the entire summer on a yacht in the mediteranean with certain members of the royal family, who won't be name here.

    Then getting paid MORE money to go shopping and spending countless days decorating!!!

    I wish I was a teacher, you guys are soooooo lucky!

  2. You're a good Momma to these kiddos. Honestly, I was so surprised how late your school year ran and now you are starting two weeks before my kids go back to school. I don't get it at all. Yes, I want my kids to go back but today is way too early. We have lots more Summer to do!
    I really do feel bad for you. I'm just glad that you're "over-paid".
    Take care of yourself today.

  3. @Hula - Yes, yes so glamourous.

    @Mark - Our schedule is a little different than traditionl. We have a longer winter break and a longer spring breaks as well as a Fall break hooked onto Thanksgiving. Because of that we start a little earlier and end a little later. At the time those vacations are amazing. On the first day of school, not so much. :)

  4. School here is about 36 weeks. Teachers make about this

  5. @Vince - That is so interesting, thank you for linking that. We work 37-38 weeks and, if my euro-dollar conversion is correct, the salaries are pretty comparable. I did notice that the teachers there get paid (if I'm reading it correctly) more for the additional "stuff". I get $1000 extra a year for my Masters degree and $500 extra a year for teaching English language learners. It looks like your teachers get about 5000 extra euros ($7000) a year for a Masters degree. That's incredible! So far, the amount I get each year hasn't even paid for the schooling for it. I have to wait until year 20 for that! Teacher hourly, again if reading correctly, for additional assignments out of the classroom is about double what we make. All those extras are nice. Does the public cry out about teachers' salaries all the time? Is this a nationwide schedule or is it by county?

  6. So you're one of those "rich" school teachers who have the summer off. I've heard about you people. :)

  7. Yeah, I love being overpaid and underworked.

  8. @Ron - Yep! Ya know the funny thing is I live just fine on my salary. Just like everyone else, sometimes it's good and sometimes it's bad. As important as education is, the frustration is that no one is willing to fund it -not just salaries but everything it entails. Oh well.

    @Jason - Thank goodness we can take a minute (or 20) and complain to each other. :)