Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Where Mommy Works

Dear Liddy,

This is where mommy works.  You know that I go to my school while you go to your school.  You also know that I can't stay at your school and (as much fun as it would be) you can't stay at my school.  Maybe we can visit each other sometimes, but that's about it.  So, until you are older and we need to decide where you will go for high school, this is where mommy is when she is working.  Speaking of which, mommy has been working too much lately!  I don't like it and I hope it doesn't last long enough for you to remember that, but this has been a 30 hour week and it is just Wednesday.  I have my big state evaluation tomorrow (TN has a new structure for that right now. Hug a teacher if you see one soon, we are all working very hard right now) and my entries into our biggest art contest are also due on Thursday. So I am trying to stay focused on the positive aspects of my job.

The best thing is I get to work HERE, in an art room; surrounded by weird stuff, and student work, and the smells of freshly sharpened pencils, and the occasional mistake, and a few bothersome ants, and two really great coworkers.  There are papers in piles on my desk, but they are organized into baskets that help me remember (eventually) where to put them.  There are papers to be graded on my desk too.  Most years I am able to get those taken care of during school time.  Not this year, or last year, but most years!

I am finally getting to a place that I am not embarrassed by my classroom.  I am one of those all or nothing organizers.  If i can notice patterns in usage than I can sometimes create an organizational system that works.  If I am new to a setting or overwhelmed bother stuff, then there is no organizational system and stuff goes everywhere.  Over the years I have come to favor a flower pot for storing a class set of assorted paint brushes.  I have to teach the kids to put them in brushy side up (and then I have to fuss at them when I they get it wrong) but this doesn't topple over, it holds a lot, and it collects all the yucky brush water in the dish at the bottom.

We use dishes as a paint pallet, so somewhere I got the idea that a dish drainer (also with a pan to catch drips) would be perfect for keeping the dishes and water cups that get cleaned and reused each day.)  The sponges are still a bit of a problem.  They have there own container, but seem to get left laying around a lot..... probably a sign that I need to look for a better way to organize them.  Then there are those paper towels!  Our school sometimes changes if we get them on a roll or as the folded and cut napkin style of paper towels.  I used to use a paper towel dispenser, but 150 kids using it each day, broke them too quickly so I gave up. 
My shelves are working pretty well.  I made the effort to label a bunch of clear plastic shoe boxes and that helped a LOT.  It bothers me that some boxes still don't have labels, so I need to work on that.  Not everything fits right in a shoe box, so that needs some attention.
I LOVE that I have a skeleton in my room.  He used to be in my closet, so for a while I had a skeleton in my closet!  I reference him when we study the proportions of the body.  Plus he is creepy and cool.  I really like that he is up high on the counter.  The skeleton got a lot more abuse when he lived on the floor and the kids could reach him.  I also LOVE the mannequin.  I happened by a store that was going out of business and they were selling them for $50 cash.  I grabbed 3 (one for each art teacher at work) and BARELY got them in my car.  I wish I had more cash and a bigger car.  I hate that I didn't get one for my own use at home!
This is my new TV.  I am very grateful for it's arrival this week.  I have had a broken TV with rainbow colors on ever channel since we moved into the new building 3.5 years ago, the summer I had Lydia.  Those sock creatures were left behind student work.  They make me smile, especially the little stripped guy's pose!  It also makes me smile that my students can watch an art movie and I don't have to explain what colors everything should be!

Finally here is a glimpse at some classwork.  I need to take these paintings down and put up the ones that relate to my observation tomorrow.  OK time to get back to work, oh wait, I'm already there!

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