After a week of sorting, discarding, and packing, we loaded my classroom things onto the 12 foot trailer and into my car and brought it all home. The enclosed trailer is full of bee wood-ware, so we had to use the open trailer and to rush to beat the rain. I’ve only moved enough out of the car to make room for the dog and some clothes, so I’ll be moving boxes into the shipping container as soon as I get to the farm. When I see teachers leaving with one carboard box of things, I think I must be insane to buy the books and other resources I do, but I’m always looking for new ideas to keep my teaching fresh and my students engaged.
Still, we’ll put most of the furniture into the new house and workshop instead of moving the heavier things to another school. The beautiful podium Hubby made for me will, of course, go to the new school, as will some of the smaller bookcases from this house.
Why so much stuff? Well, as I mentioned, there are so many good resources out there and every group of students is different. If I’m not reaching them with the materials or methods that have worked in the past, I buy new books. I’ve accumulated a lot of books in the past 10 years! But there’s another reason: students constantly tell me how much they like my room. I’ve tried to emulate teachers I admire and coordinate furnishings, but I always end up with an eclectic mix ranging from posters from The Royal Shakespeare Company to Big Bang Theory posters from Amazon.com! I have Shakespeare and Teacher Care Bears and a fuzzy stuffed bee toy with huge eyes that just makes me smile on even the worst days. I have coffee table books for Hamlet, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, The History of the English Language, Harley Davidson Motorcycles and many more. Introverted students, especially, like to hang out at lunch, away from all the bustle and surrounded by books. I didn’t really realize why until I experienced how totally depressing bare walls in a classroom can be when I sat in my depersonalized space for 3 days.
It was sad to say goodbye to people I’ve worked with for the past six years, and even harder to say goodbye to those I’ve known since student teaching. I am very excited to be moving to a rural school and to be returning to the farm at the end of every day. There’s so much to get done between now and then, but I’m up for the challenge and looking forward to making new friends.