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small dilemma...what would you do?
Old 07-19-2008, 06:50 AM
 
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I'm moving into a new classroom this year. I should point out that my classroom is rather makeshift...no cabinets, no drawers, no shelves, no counters, no closet. There's going to be a brand-new teacher in an identical classroom right beside me. I'm not brand-new anymore, but this is only my second year. The new teacher hasn't been up to work in her classroom yet...I've never met her. Since school starts in about 2 weeks, I've been going up almost every day, and have gotten really frustrated by the lack of storage in my room. One of the sweet cleaning ladies let me into the storage room and told me I could have whatever furniture (mainly bookcases) was in there. That was really sweet of her and I could definitely use it!

Here's my problem...should I leave it for the new teacher or take it for my room? There are 3 bookcases and a filing cabinet. On one hand, I have been at the school working every day and could use those items to finish unpacking. On the other hand, the thought of that first-year teacher walking into a completely empty room makes me feel bad. One of my coworkers told me, "It's every teacher for themselves!" What would you do? Thanks in advance for your help!


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Old 07-19-2008, 06:54 AM
 
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I would probably leave the other teacher 1 bookshelf and I would take the other 2 and the filing cabinet. I am a scavenger myself.... As soon as someone resigns, I go scavenging.... I was left with junk in my room due to scavengers and am trying to slowly replace the stuff in my room.
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Old 07-19-2008, 06:55 AM
 
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I would put them in my room. You could always give one to the new teacher when he/she gets there. You neve know what this teacher will come in with.

It's just me, but I would put everything in my room.
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Old 07-19-2008, 07:12 AM
 
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I agree with Angie and I'd at least leave one bookshelf for her. You've been there working so you should take what you need for your VERY empty room. I've also been in that situation. It's too bad that we're put in a "survival of the fittest" situation, but that is how it is.

For your room if you need more shelves/storage, milk crates stacked up work great. A teacher on my team stacked them up to 4 high and put classroom library books in them. Or you could stack them for your own supplies and then cover with material to make it look nice. If you have a rectangle work table, plastic tubs for storage fits great underneath and then you can take material or a plastic table skirt from a party supply store to go around the table to "hide" the tubs.

Have "they" put up hooks at least for the students coats and backpacks? If not, you may want to request that. You could also install some type of shelving to go above the hooks to create a closet area for the students. Just some thoughts off the top of my head...
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Storage
Old 07-19-2008, 07:15 AM
 
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I would take everything into my room. You can always make the decision when she gets there. I am very surpised that she has not been up if your school is only 2 weeks away.


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Now that I've read tadlokerl's message...
Old 07-19-2008, 07:16 AM
 
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I'd put all the shelves in your room and then offer her one...that way it's "yours". This way you can be sure no one else grabs it up.
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Old 07-19-2008, 07:17 AM
 
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I would take the stuff. I worked with someone like you described last year. She would come to work for required meetings that we had, but literally waited until 2 days before school started to do anything in her classroom. She put up the required posters and slapped nametags down and that was it. I've only been teaching a few years but even my first year I had a decent classroom library. I don't understand teachers that have nothing.

Take the stuff...if she was concerned she'd be there!
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Leave one
Old 07-19-2008, 07:23 AM
 
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If it were me, I'd take 2 and bring the other one to her room. If I couldn't get into her room, I'd take it into my room and leave it at the back for her. Then when I met her I'd tell her I have it for her if she wants it. If not, then I'd fill it up.
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Old 07-19-2008, 08:04 AM
 
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3 bookcases and one file cabinet? I would take any 2 pieces you want then put the other 2 in her room for her. I know many are saying, "if she cared, she'd be there already," but you don't know what she's doing with her summer. Maybe she's taking that last class for her degree, or having to work full time to get a jump start on paying back student loans or something.

I have always lived by the idea that you get what you give. Make her feel welcome, make it clear you moved some furniture in for her and that you would like it if she's not going to use it. The other thing to consider: in many districts I've worked in, we are paid once a month at the end of the month. New teachers don't get an August pay check. They come in around August 15th for an extra week of orientation, etc., then don't get paid until the end of September. Money is REALLY tight for new teachers just as they want to set up a great classroom for the kids. Help them out a little.
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Old 07-19-2008, 08:15 AM
 
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You do not know the reason why the other teacher has not been there. . .does it really matter? The main question is if you should share the riches. Yes! Being kind and thinking of others does matter. Putting yourself in someone else's place does count. Your creativity will help you finish up your room with the positive thought that you helped out a fellow teacher. A great way to begin a new friendship with your new teaching neighbor!

If you post a question on how to fix up your classroom when you do not have much to work with, there are loads of wonderful teachers on here you will gift you with creative ideas. You can even ask them to post pictures of their classrooms!


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Old 07-19-2008, 08:47 AM
 
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I'm in agreement with all those that say you should share! I would bring them into my room and then tell her she could take a one or two shelves if she needs them...it's a great start to a great teaching relationship! If you are giving now, she may be giving later. But don't rely on it. Then you will have resentment towards her from the start. Give it for the sake of giving and you will be comfortable with yourself. Good Luck with your choice...whatever you decide, it will be fine...stick with it!
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shelves
Old 07-19-2008, 09:01 AM
 
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Like many of the previous posters I would also put all the shelves in your room and offer one of them to her when she comes in. I know at my school that other teachers that don't need them would grab them, so get them ASAP. I was also wondering if there is anyway that you could contact the new person. New teachers don't always know the right thing to do or when they should show up.
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My school
Old 07-19-2008, 09:16 AM
 
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Every teacher for themselves. I would take them and then when she starts asking about things maybe offer her one of the bookshelves.
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Call her
Old 07-19-2008, 09:20 AM
 
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Could you get her number from the office staff? This way you could call (or email) her and ask her what she has and what she needs. She might already have things. At least you can find out ASAP. I know you have put in a lot of time but we all know how we overlook things our first year! I would put at least one aside.

I inherited a room with junk furniture and I ended up getting rid of a lot of it. I have slowly been replacing things. I got a free filing cabinet from a garage sale. They were selling it for $10 but when they found out it was for my classroom they just gave it to me! Target and Walmart have cheap shelves right now in their college sections. Garage sales, thrift shops, and craigslist are great places to find cheap furniture! Good luck!
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what I'd do,
Old 07-19-2008, 09:26 AM
 
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I would take it all and fill up most of it w/ your stuff. I'd keep out one bookshelf to offer to her if she wants it (that way, as a pp suggested, no one else in the school has it). If she wants it, great, if not, you keep it. Who knows, maybe she's independently wealthy and has purchased a matching set of bookshelves/teacher's desk/filing cabinet!
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Old 07-19-2008, 09:33 AM
 
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johnsju, you sound like a very thoughtful person! This will be my third year teaching. I was soooo appreciative of my coworkers that were willing to share their resources with me. Perhaps she doesn't know if she can work in her room yet. I know I was very proactive when I was offered my position. As soon as I got the go-ahead to work in my room, I drove every day I got off work and worked until they kicked me out. Perhaps you could call your new co-worker and inform her that the school is open and about the lack of storage.
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Old 07-19-2008, 09:40 AM
 
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I agree with those who say "share". I'd leave her at least one thing. A few years ago, a new teacher took the room across the hall, and none of us knew her. We'd been working in our rooms all summer, she showed up about 3 days before school started. The teacher who'd been in her room left her nothing. It turned out that the new teacher had been in summer school all summer and had not been able to come up to the school. She became one of my very best friends. We all felt bad that the previous teacher had left her nothing.
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Agreed
Old 07-19-2008, 09:51 AM
 
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Nothing else to say
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:09 AM
 
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I would leave at least one thing for her. Otherwise take them all, and if she shows up with nothing, offer one to her.

I'm transferring to another school in my district this year (this is my second year), and I've seen my classroom. It leaves much to be desired. I've also seen the other first grade rooms, so I know I'm getting the "short end of the stick". That's okay. That's what happens. I'll move into a better classroom when my opportunity comes up.
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Share
Old 07-19-2008, 10:17 AM
 
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I would also share. I know when I have been the "new teacher" at a school I was given a specific date I could get into the building. Meanwhile other teachers who have been there often had access to the building prior to the date I was told. Being the "new" one I abided by what was asked of me by the principal.

Also, being new often means some kind of orientation. I know here orientation is often a 2-3 day thing and is full days. I often went home afterward because I felt overwhelmed. It may seem like this teacher doesn't "care" but there are many factors that could be preventing them from coming in.
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Old 07-19-2008, 09:26 PM
 
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I agree - share.
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