Thursday, August 21, 2014

My world got flipped, turned upside down..

On Monday I headed into my elementary school to stat setting up for the year. This was the first year I was able to go in the week before PD to do so, and I was looking forward to an easy setup. After all, I'd left my room in a very tidy state in June. I started moving tables around...
 And then came the news... our Middle School Art teacher had resigned, and did I want to take on a full-time position? Of course I want to be full time... but that means moving up to Middle School!!
The perks: full time pay, only 14 classes and 350 students instead of 22 classes and 500 kids, a kiln, and a HUGE at room YES!!!!!!!
The drawbacks: It's middle school, I have to do a day of sub duty, it's middle school.... and I had 3 days to organize a huge room jam-packed with the former art teacher's years of squirreling away things wherever they fit.
I started off by pulling everything out of the closets and shelves, piling them up on the tables. I wanted to get an idea of what supplies and tools already were available. Some awesome finds included 5 sewing machines, 2 digital cameras, tons of easy-cut lino blocks, an 18inch square paper cutter, and 5 boxes of these dense foam geometric forms:
 Some weird finds included a billion rulers, countless rolls of architectural blueprints, and pieces of needlepoint canvas EVERYWHERE, and another billion plastic milk-jug bottoms for water cups and marker-holders.
Weirdest thing was that one unit of drying racks was mounted so high, no normal-sized human would ever be able to use it. I got the custodian to unscrew it and remount it under the window where it could actually be used.
 So now I've got the room arranged how I like it, with supplies stored in a logical manner. 4 giant bags of trash and 3 recycling bins filled with paper and plastic have gone out the door. This picture is from the doorway:
At left is a Promethean board and a long rolling table I  intend to use as a demo table and/or supply distribution space. In the left corner cabinets I'm storing paper, drawing media, and printmaking supplies. The counter top holds my paper cutter, and the drawers below have additional paper storage. I've got a mess of cardboard stuck in the corner ready for sculptural use. Drying rack is between the windows. A set of shelves is a supply station with rulers, compasses, whiteboards, crayons, oil pastel, magazines, and table supply caddies. A rolling cart is filled with tubs of colored pencils, fine and thick markers. Above the sink is all the painting storage with watercolor, tempera, water cups, brushes, india ink, etc. Another set of shelves holds clay tools, glazes, and acrylics. My still-messy desk is in the corner (haven't tackled that yet!!). There's a bookshelf stocked with text books I can threaten my students with. A stack of large bins hold fabric and felt, and there are 5... yes, FIVE sewing machines (happy dance). Three tall shelves are now empty and awaiting student art. Each class will be assigned a shelf. A rolling cart holds yarn and fiber supplies, a rolling shelf is holding art poster and large-size paper and boards. An expanding display unit awaits use as critique board, and 2 huge whiteboards stretch along the 4th wall. Small shelves under the boards are empty  and waiting for student sketchbooks. I have 5 long tables arranged in the center with a group of 2, a solo table, and another group of 2, so I can have a group of 10, a group of 5, and a group of 10. above the tables I hung 3 different-colored beach balls to identify table groups.

There is soooooo much more I'd like to do to decorate, and I haven't even touched the kiln area yet. However, at least I have a better idea of what supplies need to be ordered, and everything is placed where I want it. It is not cutesy, and I have no bulletin boards, but this is middle school.
I think I'm ready.........