It occurred to me recently that it’s been many, many years since I have had my “own” preschool classroom to set up just how I wanted. When I first started teaching preschool here in California, I shared a room with another teacher – she taught in the morning, and I taught in the afternoon. Since she had taught in that classroom for several years, she was kind of the “Alpha” teacher for that room, and she got to decide how everything was set up. (This was really only fair, since she had been working with another Alpha teacher who had the room before she was there. And, being that she had been in that room with another established teacher before her for several years, she was delighted to be able to finally move all the furniture around the way she wanted it when I replaced that retiring Alpha teacher.
I was in that shared room for three years and a few months, and then I moved over last year to the co-teaching inclusion preschool, where there were actually several Alpha teachers already doing their thing over there. It was kind of like an Alpha Party in that room. And while they were very gracious to ask for my opinion and try to include me, I spent a lot of time in that environment feeling a little Student Teacher-ish.
However, this year I am moving to a new classroom which will really be “mine”. It’s never had a preschool Alpha teacher in it before (it’s been an extra room in the school for several years). At this moment it is completely empty, waiting for me to go in and set things up how I want them – after the carpet is cleaned, of course.
Here is how the room looks now (this is the official “before”):
(Actually, as you can see, there are some things in the room right now. The room was kind of a “Room of Requirement” for the school, so it was last a choir room.)
I have to say that it’s much smaller than the inclusion room that I was in last year. Actually, that inclusion room was a dream preschool classroom – it had everything you could ever want to have. A student bathroom/changing area. An staff bathroom. A full kitchen. Two staff offices. A walk-in storage room.
But it wasn’t “mine”. And this room is, and for all of its “drawbacks”, I just couldn’t be more excited about it.