I am thrilled to say that I have met a significant goal today: I now have acquired enough table space and chairs for 40 students (crossing my fingers the classes are no bigger than that this year!). In fact, I have stacks and stacks of chairs and tables across my patio at the moment!
A number of people have spent time with me painting during the summer. On one of my recent painting days, I was joined by a sweet former student, Alejandra, who gave my doors a much-needed base coat! Truly, without the help of various volunteers, there is no way this could have been accomplished in one summer.
In fact, there have been a number of people who have actually asked to help, so I have planned a couple of painting and decorating days:
Thursday, July 19 from 9AM-4:30PM will focus on painting the bookshelves, the dresser, and the coffee tables. If you love to be creative with paint, this will be FUN!
Tentatively: Monday, July 24 from 1:30- 5PM will be for decorating the room (hopefully!). They are painting my room still, so I cannot hang things up yet. :o( My hope is that it will be done a week from now. We will also be planting some succulents for the classroom, as research has found that the presence of natural elements has positive effects on classroom atmosphere, as cited by Gargiulo & Metcalf (2013).
While I am busily working on creating a calm and productive classroom environment, I am also embracing the reality of being a lifelong learner in practice. At the beginning of the summer, I had previously refinished one table, one bookshelf, and a chair. To make progress with the project, I have spent hours on YouTube, learning about upholstery, chair repair, and painting tips. I now know how to use an air compressor and an upholstery stapler, and I can reinforce a wobbly wooden chair. Below, you can see some of the before shots of one of the chairs I have been working on. The second coat of paint is drying even as I type this, so I can post the after tomorrow!
More, I am learning how to ask for an accept help — something I have struggled with in the past. I am finding that there are many people out there who want to help — you just need to let them know that such help is welcome!
Gargiulo, R. M., & Metcalf, D. J. (2013). Teaching in today’s inclusive classrooms: a universal design for learning approach (2nd ed.). Boston: Cengage Learning.