New Teacher Orientation is done. I have been inside my classroom. Teacher workdays (read: meetings ALL DAY) start tomorrow…

My room was completely empty when I came in… I had nothing except a teacher desk, a kidney table, some chairs, two bookshelves, an overhead, and computers. I don’t have any textbooks. No library. No student desks. No crayons, paper, markers… nothing. I couldn’t move any of the furniture, yet, either – AND we don’t get our keys until tomorrow.

Stress city.

I swept out a cabinet and feebly started putting my personal teacher materials in it. I really had no idea where to start. I still don’t.

I have a sad stack of books, most of which are probably too low-level for my third graders (I student taught 1st grade, so I have LOTS of picture books). I was given construction paper and some supplies when I left student teaching, but not nearly enough. Not even close.

So, I did what all teachers do – I went shopping. I have no idea if I’ll get reimbursed or for how much, but I just HAD to buy SOMETHING. The first day of school is in a week, and my walls are completely bare – I needed a calendar, Star of the Week stuff… I’m going to spend today making “welcome” decorations for Open House (Thursday!). I’m broke. I’m tired. I’m not sure how it’s going to come together.

But I know it will. I know it will all work itself out… I bought crayons, markers, colored pencils, nametags, posters, a calendar, borders, and office supplies. And the wonder folks at Staples are having WONDERFUL sales for Back to School, including free supplies with an increased limited quantity for teachers. I was able to get 25 bottles of glue, 25 plastic rulers, and 25 packs of pencils (200 altogether) – all for FREE. I’m not being paid to say this, and I’m not one for brand loyalty, but Staples is saving my ass right now.

Tomorrow I’m going in to school early. Really early. I have to – I won’t be able to calm down until my room looks like a third grade classroom and not a cavernous storage space.

You know what, though? I’m so excited that it actually overshadows the stress. Here’s to a great year!

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