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TeacherHaak TeacherHaak is offline
 
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Need Advice ASAP
Old 07-23-2012, 09:22 PM
 
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This is my first year teaching and I am moving into a new school. My classroom is completely empty with no built-ins or furniture of any type. I am hoping there are some veteran teachers out there to give me some much needed advice. What piece/s of furniture do you find the most valuable in the everyday operations of the classroom?


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Old 07-23-2012, 09:26 PM
 
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bookshelves,teacher work space,(could be a desk and/or a kidney table)
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Wow
Old 07-23-2012, 09:27 PM
 
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a new school was built without anything in the classrooms? That seems odd. When our district built 3 new schools a few years ago, everything was included, desks, tables, chairs, built-in cubbies, etc.

You're going to need shelving - I have a several large book shelves in my room that hold (of course) books, but also manipulatives, whiteboards for the students, games, puzzles, teacher editions of curricula, and so on. I have very little built in, so most of my storage is shelving. I do have cubbies built-in along one wall - One for each student, and more for supplies/snacks/consumable curricula materials, etc.

Is there anything set up for students' coats and backpacks?

Good luck. I hope you find some advice here that is helpful. Congrats on your new job!!!
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Need Advice
Old 07-23-2012, 09:28 PM
 
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What grade will you be teaching?
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:32 PM
 
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I will be teaching 2nd grade.
I received an email this evening saying there are some teacher desks, bookshelves and cupboards at the school site that are available on a first come first serve basis in two days. I will hopefully find some of the larger items I need there so I don't have to purchase them on my own. I am just unsure of exactly what I should grab first?


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Old 07-23-2012, 09:33 PM
 
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No there is nothing set up for the students belongings. Thanks for your advice.
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I would
Old 07-23-2012, 09:36 PM
 
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grab bookshelves and cupboard first. Teacher desk after you've secured the shelves and other storage stuff.
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:40 PM
 
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Thanks! I am asking my two brothers and my husband to meet me at the school when it opens to get what I need. I am on a limited budget as this is my first year and I have to find everything for my classroom. Having a place to store my supplies would be great. Any ideas on inexpensive ways to create more storage?
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Old 07-23-2012, 10:23 PM
 
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I agree about grabbing teacher desk after you secure storage stuff, students desks, closets/cubbies for students belongings. Many teachers do not use a teacher desk at all. Also, other teachers will probably be most helpful to donate things for your classroom. I know when I first started teaching, other teachers stepped up to the plate to help.
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Old 07-23-2012, 11:04 PM
 
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I would go for the bookshelves and cupboards before anything else. If there is a rug get that next then large tables if you want them. You can always have the children sit on the rug and use clipboards if you can store the clipboards. Then get the children's desks and chairs and last thing is your desk.

On a side note I would be concerned about the management abilities of the principal. Setting up the allotment of furniture as a first come first serve is serious copping out.


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Garage Sales/Second-Hand Stores
Old 07-24-2012, 03:25 AM
 
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When you go to school to grab some furniture, be sure to move it into your classroom right away. Do not just put your name on it and think someone else will move it later. Your name will disappear as soon as you do.

After you grab what you can from the school, begin hitting garage sales and second-hand stores. You might also look around your community to see if there are any sales at libraries. They sometimes get rid of bookshelf-type furniture. Explain that you are a teacher trying to furnish a classroom, and you might get some soft-hearted people who will slash the prices a little.

Also, when hitting community sales, look for books to stock your classroom library.
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Don't be surprised
Old 07-24-2012, 04:02 AM
 
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My bet is that there won't be a lot of furniture and what is there will be junk. If you do find something, label it and move it IMMEDIATELY. If someone has a truck, put it in the truck. Do not assume that other teachers will be "nice to the newbie".

I would be checking Salvation Army and Goodwill stores for furniture. I got a bookcase there, had it painted, and it is fine. Garage sales are also good. Ask around, neighbors may be thinking of getting rid of stuff and haven't got around to it. Ask about scratch and dent furniture at office stores (think file cabinet here).

Good luck. If it were me, I'd go for the teacher desk first (one with drawers). The storage can be bought if needed, but a teacher desk can't. If you don't have desks/chairs for the students, the parents will be sure the admin. will address that issue.
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furniture
Old 07-24-2012, 05:04 AM
 
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Since it's a new school, is it possible that the furniture hasn't arrived yet? Maybe you should check with someone before you spend your own money on basic furniture. I can't imagine any district not providing the essentials-ie.student desks or tables. I've never heard of any district expecting their teachers to supply those! Hopefully you have a lot of brand new, awesome furniture coming your way! Good luck!
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Furniture warehouse.
Old 07-24-2012, 05:44 PM
 
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Does your district have a furniture warehouse? Your school may not have furniture, but perhaps there is a surplus in the district available. It may not be pretty, but bookcases could have good structure and just need painting or cabinets could have good framework, but no locks or doors and could still be used. Maybe there are tables instead of desks available. I hate to say it, but take what you can get and make it work.

If not, try crates and shelving. Check craigslist for used furniture if it really comes down to it, but again as teachers, this should not be our responsiblity. Your principal is doing your entire school a disservice by not supplying its teachers with at least the basics of furniture. If this is a truly newly constructed school, built-ins and even basic furniture are usually included in the construction budget. There has to be something more to the story here. Did the budget get cut somewhere along the way?
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Unusual place to check ---
Old 07-24-2012, 08:08 PM
 
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Check with grocery stores that might be throwing out display racks! I have a few that were used for bread --- they are AWESOME and usually have adjustable shelving and are on rollers for convenience to move around. Let them know you are a teacher!!!
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Freecycle
Old 07-25-2012, 01:12 PM
 
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Check with Freecycle (I think that is the name). People will post free things on the website, all you have to do is to pick it up.
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Craig's list
Old 08-22-2012, 04:32 AM
 
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Try the free section of Craig's list. Try asking family and friends if they have anything that will work. I cannot imagine teaching in school/district where you have to buy your own furniture. I've bought some stuff in the past and I definitely had to scrounge and make good friends with the maintenance department to get what I wanted/needed, but to have to buy everything? Ridiculous!
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Great advice
Old 08-22-2012, 08:21 AM
 
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Sounds like everyone has given you some sound advice. Good luck...did someone recommend second hand stores and yardsales...you'd be surprised.
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Milk Crates
Old 08-22-2012, 12:11 PM
 
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I used milk crates (zip-tied together) for the first couple of years I was teaching. I turned them on their sides and then used the zip ties to secure them together to create book shelves. They were also great because I moved around a lot the first few years I was teaching, so it made packing up really simple! I agree with PP about hitting up garage sales for furnishings - you can find some really fun stuff! Also, I found a lot of my family members (older aunts and uncles/grandparents) had stuff they were looking to get rid of because they were at the stage where they were starting to downsize. Wouldn't hurt to put the word out through your parents that you are looking for furniture. Also, if you can talk to your admin. and see what there is outside of the school (as in within your school division) for classrooms. Sometimes they will have a warehouse of extras.
Good luck and have fun!
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