Five years ago it was the summer of 2010. I was moving into my classroom at Santa Fe South Elementary. It was a large, spacious room but it had to be to fit 40 Kindergarten bodies. I was going to team teach for the first time ever. I had not met my co-teacher and was nervous and really excited to be starting the journey. I remember taking boxes and boxes of stuff to pile in the classroom. Some teachers were there working outside in the garden on the playground.
The room was an old work-out room. The school—a charter school—had been purchased for $1 and was an old YMCA. We were short on bathrooms and on space. The room was old, dusty and sad. It had desks instead of tables and not enough chairs. My mom and I spent many days painting it a sky blue and painting the cement floor white. Later, I spent days with my mom gluing carpet squares down. My husband painted large murals on the walls over the distracting mirrors that had been there. It was all a labor of love.
My co-teacher did help some but she was new to teaching and I think a little overwhelmed. She moved one box of her stuff in lol. It wasn’t her fault I am a collector aka hoarder when it comes to teacher finds. I love to repurpose stuff and I love to get free items from freecycle.org and craigslist (but be careful!).
I was unsure how the school year would go but it went smoothly for the most part. Forty little bodies in one room are a little cray cray but we worked well together. The kids’ learning never suffered because of the large class size. We would take our class out so the other could have 20 for literacy centers.
A part of me now misses co-teaching and I had a great co-teacher. If I could talk to old me I would just say “don’t be a perfectionist-don’t sweat the small stuff.” But I would not change anything from that year.
The following year I moved to PreK and that was an amazing year with an amazing teacher assistant named Brenda. I miss her everyday!!!
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