June 2019 - Miss Clark's Spoonful

Dos and Don'ts for Packing up your Classroom! Plus... a freebie!

Happy Summer!!!

Where does time go? Another school year has come and gone. You guys, I can say without a doubt that this year was the best teaching year I've ever had. It was super bittersweet to part ways with my kiddos for the summer.

Our last day of school with students was on Wednesday, June 12th. Then... dun, dun, dun... we had to spend June 13th and 14th packing up our classrooms, because they are going to be renovated over the summer. The good news is that while we had to pack EVERYTHING, we didn't have to move ANYTHING! The movers began doing all of that work for us last week. Everything will be moved upstairs to the library for the summer.

We'll be getting new carpet, freshly painted walls, new furniture, all to go along with a particular color scheme for each grade level (be still my heart). All of the carpets will be grey, with a "pop of color." All of the furniture will have different accent colors. At this time, second grade has a yellow "pop of color" in the carpet, and red accents in the furniture. I've never been a "primary colors" kind of woman, but we'll make it happen.

For those of you who have ever had to move classrooms, you know the amount of work and elbow grease that goes into it. Here are my most important classroom packing dos and don'ts:

DO color code.

In our case, each grade level was assigned a particular color of duct tape that corresponds with the to-be "pop of color" carpet color. So, second grade was yellow!

If you don't have this kind of situation, I still recommend labeling all of your boxes, furniture, etc. with some kind of label that is significant to you. Whether you have to move it back or not, everything will end up in the correct place.

DON'T keep everything.

I have to say, one of the most liberating aspects of packing up my classroom was purging sooo many unused materials. My rule of thumb: If you didn't use it all year, you don't need it. GET RID OF IT, and make some space.

DO be creative with space.

Of course, boxes are necessary. That being said, think about those large boxes, especially when most of what you have to pack away is books. A ginormous box full of books come August = heavy, and overwhelming to unpack. Luckily, our cabinet space isn't being renovated so my assistant teacher (bless her heart. You guys, she's seriously the best) and I stored and labeled our classroom library in them!

organized classroom library

DON'T just "throw it all in together."

I get it. I really do! Having packed up a couple of classrooms in my career, it's understandable to get to that point where you say, "I don't care," and throw a ton of stuff in a box. To avoid getting to this point, formulate a plan. Even if you don't stick to it verbatim, have an idea of what is going to be packed together. When you feel yourself getting to the frustration point, stop for the day. Take care of yourself!

DO label (sort of).

I'm not saying that each box needs to have every single item listed on the outside. That would be crazy! Rather, go with a theme. Pack similar resources together, and label boxes something like, "Morning meeting supplies," or "Literacy center choice board." You'll know what is included, and that's all that matters!

DON'T wait until the last minute.

This is something I wish I hadn't done. I didn't start packing anything away until the Thursday and Friday we were allotted. In my brain, I was all, "I still need all of these things until the last day of school!"Au contraire. While I ultimately got everything done, it was a lot. My advice: Involve your students in the process! It can be upsetting for students to see a classroom totally broken down. However,  it can be fun for them to start the beginning stages of packing! Kids love sorting/packing books, math manipulatives, etc.

DO accept help.

You guys, I am a Type 9 when it comes to the Enneagram. Oh my Word, that's another blog post for another time. Personality type fascination, anyone??? When it comes to tasks like this, my mindset is usually "don't offer help unless I ask for it, because I have a plan."

HOWEVER, Teachers are the most compassionate, amazing beings. Our amazing Kindergarten teacher arrived in my doorway, saying, "Ok, put me to work!" She packed up all of my math manipulatives, took down my bulletin board papers/borders, and all the while was super calming and just GOT me. While she asked what to do with certain things, she also had this amazing intuition about her. It. Takes. A. Village.

Props to all of you who had or will have to pack up classrooms at the end of the school year. All in all, another amazing year is in the books.

organized classroom library

packed up classroom

packed up classroom

empty classroom

empty classroom

packed up classroom

You can grab this FREEBIE to stick on your classroom boxes, should you be packing up or moving!
packing label

Whew. It's time to unwind, relax, and recharge. Teachers, you are amazing. Again, HAPPY SUMMER!!!