From the Apple
At my school many teachers have been working for several weeks over the summer to get their rooms ready and some of them are ready to go on the very first day of pre-planning! They do that because they know that the first week is filled with meetings and they don't want to be stressed getting everything ready. I am lucky enough to teach with my daughter-in-law, Randi, and she takes the summer as her time to spend with her family so she comes to her room on that first day of pre-planning and then works 24/7 to make sure she is ready. I'm probably the "go early" type, but I have learned from Randi that you really can do it in the time allotted. Knowing that helped me know that Courtney would have enough time too. I called to let her know she could put $100 on my credit card to begin to get things I knew she needed. After all, she, like so many first year teachers, has not been paid yet and she really didn't have any extra money to buy material to cover her bulletin boards (it doesn't fade) and bulletin board border or to buy any of the other things she needed. When Courtney called after she had seen her room, she was excited but a little worried about how sparse everything was. She wanted some ideas for how to decorate her room. I asked Courtney if she could Skype me from her room so I could see her space, but she wasn't sure if Skype was unblocked. Then I suggested that she take some pictures of the room and e-mail them to me until she reminded me that her camera had been stolen. So I decided to take pictures at my school to give her some ideas. Even after looking at all the ideas, she decided on a beach theme for her room.
Of course, the truth of the matter is that your room looking well only gets you so far because on Monday morning it comes down to how well you relate to the children that will cross that threshold. but for now - courtney's room looks just fine!
The weekend after pre-planning I made a trip to Courtney's school. I didn't need to worry because even though I had the car packed with stuff for her, she already had things ready to go. Over the years she's spent lots of time in my classroom putting up bulletin boards, cutting shapes and letters, but now she was on her own and as I looked around - I realized she was doing quite well - without my help!