Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Meet the Teacher

Back to school emails have been pouring in lately && I'm just not ready to face the reality of the working world yet (working from home on teaching stuff...yes...working in my classroom teaching...not yet). Sooooo each time my phone dings with a new email I close my eyes, take a deep breath and pretend that it will be an email saying that I won a shopping spree (crazier things have happened and a girl can dream). The first time my work email dinged it was saying not to come up to the school until further notice because new carpets are going in. I'm stoked about new carpets (no more mystery stains YAY!), but not being able to get into my room until the week before we go back (and 3 days before I set sail on a cruise) has put me into panic mode. && now hearing that every first grade teacher's stuff is out in the hallway while the carpet is being laid 1 room per day has me freaking out even more. I'm a control freak, and self diagnosed stuff being in a hodge podge in the middle of the hallway is officially my.worst.nightmare!  Here's what I'm workin' with...

August 5: Estimated completion date
August 6: Annual Summer's End Pool Day
August 7: Road Trip to Florida
August 8-August 11: Cruisin' the Ocean
August 12: Back to Work
August 15: Meet the Teacher

I'm not stressed about being able to get it done if they finish on time. If I have the 5th and part of the 7th before we hit the road to assess any damage that may have more than likely occured in the move && start setting up, I'm golden. I can push things into place and get my new stuff hung up before I even start packing for the cruise. If they finish behind schedule, I'm up the creek without a paddle drowning my sorrows && worries in an umbrella drink.

With getting into my classroom completely out of the question I've got to do as much work at home as I can. Time is going to be tight that first week back--we don't have a full work day until the day of Meet the Teacher. M.T.T. night is always really exciting, but I'm always stressed out trying to get things put away, decorated, and set up just right. First impressions are everything and I wouldn't be my mother's daughter without caring about the presentation of my classroom. Our M.T.T. night is done "drop-in" style from 5:00-7:00. Our students and their parents get to come into our rooms, check everything out, and get any of their questions answered. I always give my kids a checklist of what they need to do with their crew while they're in the classroom. Mine for this year is up to the left.

There are packets of information/forms at their seats that they need to take home with them && an estimation jar on the back table. I always, always bake cookies  as a little sweet treat welcoming them into first grade. I tie them up in clear treat bags with curly ribbons and a label (bear with me I know I'm crazy). The whole process takes each family maybe 10 minutes (sometimes longer if they have a lot of questions/anxiety).

My back table is where everything is set up... && I set it up as the focal point. When you walk into a party (not a college frat party, but a grown woman party...a shower of some type) there's always a table that's the focal point. Most of the time it's where the food is, but ain't nobody got time to cater a M.T.T. night && I'm definitely not having any time for food and drinks on my new carpet. My table is set up with the sign in sheet, the estimation jar, some fresh flowers, etc, etc, etc. A table cloth goes down to pull it all together. Of course I spaced out and didn't take a picture of my table from last year. It wasn't anything spectacular...don't get me wrong I had elaborate plans, but they got the boot when I ran out of time (and the power to not be frazzled). It was cute, but it wasn't something to jump on a couch professing your love for (sorry Tom Cruise). This year I got an early start && I'll just go ahead and say that it's going to be absolutely fabulous. Last year I took the simple route and used a folded piece of cardstock for my table signs...this year my signs are frame I bought some frames from the Hobs (Hobby Lobby) and fired up Publisher to make these beauties.

The sign in frame will obviously go next to the sign in sheet (can't make that until I know who is in my class) && that will go on a glammed up clipboard (on the to do/order list). In the past I put their treats at their seats (rhyme not intentional), but after last year's running of younger siblings I decided against that for this year. This M.T.T. night I'm putting all of the treat bags into a basket next to me at the front door. That way I can make sure that only my students leave with a treat bag (and only 1 treat bag). I would love for everyone in the school to have fresh made from scratch cookies, but not when I'm the one baking them.

Another yearly tradition of mine is to have an estimation jar on the back table. Each student makes an estimation and writes it on a piece of paper. Mine last year were very plain Jane (I was a little embarassed when I saw them) so they got an update to this...

Something to hoot about huh?!? On the first day of school we sit down as a group to count the candies in the jar (I usually use Starbursts because they're wrapped). The person that gets the closest (without going over) gets to take all of the treats home...after they give everyone in the class 1 piece of candy (there will be no riots on the first day of school if I can control it). There are always at least 80 pieces of candy packed in the jar so they still have plenty to themselves even after being forced to share a 17 pieces.

My to do list is still a mile long && what teacher's list isn't at this point in the summer?? Of all the things on my list shopping would have to be my favorite. It's on my list of things to do because I need owl stuff- -ok need is a stretch--I realize that my "needs" are actually "wants." Either way I went shopping looking like the sweaty hot mess pot that I am after working out and picked up some pretty cute things. I'm loving this owl stuff! Who knew switching themes could be so much fun? My brain has officially turned into a pumpkin && it's way past the time I said I was going to make myself go to bed so until next time blogging, love, and shop a little...ok a a lot! :)


  1. Great ideas! I need to have my table as a focal point as well. In the past I've had important papers there for them, but if I didn't send them to the table, it wasn't always seen. I need it to catch their eye! Thanks!

  2. I love your ideas for Meet the Teacher. Ours is a drop in as well and I am going to borrow some of your ideas! Thanks!!
    A Tall Drink of Water