Saga of Storage Rooms Turned Classroom

At the end of last school year, my admin team decided to move me across the building in a nearly-unused hallway so I could have a double-sized room. I have enormous butcher block tables that are wonderful, but trying to squeeze up to forty high schoolers in around them was a nightmare.  Over the summer, I made decorations. I pinned ideas for inspiring posters. I thought of ideas for better organization and more student autonomy and bought plastic bins and baskets. In other words, I was pumped.

The few weeks before the beginning of every school year is an whirlwind. This year, I was busy in various professional development seminars, sitting in meetings, and chaperoning field trips for incoming freshmen.About two weeks before school started, during the freshman summer camps my school holds, I decided to take a look at my new room.


One of my proposed two rooms was being used to store various science equipment (read: a lot of glassware and large, clunky equipment) as well as furniture donated by corporations: enormous filing cabinets, standalone dry erase boards, desks, and mysterious wooden crates.

The other room (which is actually behind the first photo -- the door you see leads to the PE/Health classroom) was stuffed with furniture that was yet to be distributed to other classrooms.

Tables and desks and stools, oh my!

I panicked a little. The wall wasn't knocked down. Was one of these rooms going to have to be a very large supply closet? Would I still have to wade my way through students and backpacks? 

Every day I could, I went to check on my room. About a week before school started, something magical happened: that wall came down. 

Still chock-full-o-furniture, but now I can see all of it at once!

Student volunteers (bless these dear teenagers who spent some of their last days of summer at school) helped me get some of the lighter items out of the room and into science rooms or other storage areas. 

Another week passed. School was around the corner. Like, in four days, students would be there. Finally, my massive butcher block tables (300 pounds, times 9 tables..!) made their way from my old room to the new one. I scurried back and forth with unwieldy carts to bring my materials, my desk junk, and a massive amount of cardboard and other recycled stuff for a project. A few days of arranging and organizing later, and here are the results: 

My desk! My filing cabinet is locked shut until a locksmith can make it over, thus the piles on top. RISD pennant hanging behind the desk as well. 

Bookshelf! Even though my students all have laptops, I like giving them books, too.

Color wheel, elements, and principles!

String lights bring a little coziness. In the back, I have some drafting tables and a bunch of still life items. Thanks to my mom for scouring Value Village for weird stuff for my kids to draw.

Be nice. Work hard. Also pictured: color wheel paint brush wreath and a new light table, yay!

After all the anxiety, I am SO happy with my double room. I love the space, I have lots of new goodies this year, and it can fit all my students more than comfortably. Bring it on, 2015-2016!