If you've been following me for a while, you know that this year, my first year teaching, I will be teaching at an international school in Venezuela. I arrived here earlier this week and have been doing new teacher orientation since then. School starts in a week and a half!
Can I just say that packing to teach in another country when you aren't sure what resources you have (I did ask, but there wasn't not much of an answer)? Since I love books so much and use them in all of my subjects, I decided to pack my carry-on full of books. I even looked up the standards (AERO) and tried to find books that aligned with contents other than reading. My books (at least the ones I really wanted) all fit! I did get stopped due to these books when I went through security though. They had to be wiped with a small piece of paper to see if they contained something harmful. Also, I did not think about the weight implications when I packed this bag. I knew there wasn't a weight restriction, but I forgot that I should be able to lift my bag into the overhead compartment. Thankfully, two men (yes, it took two plus myself) were able to help me on both legs of my flight. One even took it down for me afterwards. I'm so thankfully to have books that I know, but I did find that the school has a few more books than I expected even if they are old and falling apart.
Here are the pictures of my first classroom. When I came in, all of the furniture was in the middle and covered because they have to repaint the walls every summer. My goal the past few days is to figure out how to arrange my room. I'm still working on it, but I decided to post these pictures anyways.
Since I have both forth and fifth grade, I wanted an area to have small group instruction, places for them to work independently or in small groups, and a whole group area. I also had to decide where I wanted my white board.
My first step was to uncover everything. I found my curriculum! There is a lot of it since I have both grades.
Then I found two bookshelves overflowing with books! We piled the books in this corner to move the somewhat ugly shelves (they're a burnt orange).
Next, I decided it would be nice to have my small group area on this side of the room. With a lot of help (including from a student of mine), we unloaded the textbooks and moved the shelf to that area right next to the projector. I also decided to put the white board on that wall so that I can use it for whole group or small group. I'm hoping to use a carpet there for whole group.
This picture shows the other side of my room. You can see my burnt orange bookshelves against the wall. I'm planning on scattering groups of desks throughout this side of the room. I don't plan on the students receiving instruction while at their desks often, so having them spread out more should be fine.
I have already have met four of my fourteen students! I'm excited to begin but feel that there is no way that I will be ready. Teaching is overwhelming! I'm working on my room now and need to work on the first week of lessons soon. I will post more pictures as I am further along in organizing my room. If you have any tips or suggestions, I would love to hear your thoughts.