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Tips/Suggestions/General rescuing!!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by hats_hats, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. I went into school today to make a start on my classroom and to be honest was pretty shocked and overwhelmed!! As an NQT I naively thought the previous teacher would have removed all of their resources and mess and it would be ready for me, with only a bit of tidying and personalising. WRONG! I'm so glad I took my mum with me, if not I'd still be there.
    The deputy head and caretaker told me to be brutal and ruthless and just chuck anything I didn't want without worrying. The previous teacher hasn't tidied the cupboards out at all. The previous class' trays hadn't even been emptied! The resource trays weren't organised correctly - everything was muddled and incomplete as well as being very tatty and dirty.
    I'm going back in tomorrow with antibacterial spray and antibacterial washing up liquid to give multilink, unifix, plastic teddys, linking elephants etc a good soak and finish emptying/cleaning the room.
    I just can't believe how messy the room was. The cleaners have been coming in and I've had a new carpet fitted etc.
    Apart from being a huge waste of my time (I've been recovering from a complicated tonsillectomy so have only just been allowed out of the house to make a start!), I am now left with a limited supply of resources from what I can see. Does anyone have any ideas of quick fixes which may help me? I understand that as an NQT I will need to build up my own resource bank and am getting ready to make some PSRN and CLL games/activities.
    I've seen from other posts, although slightly dated, that places like Wilkinsons, Asda, Tesco are good for inexpensive resources - is this still the case?
    Or does anyone have any suggestions for simple things that I may not have thought of/come across? I've seen lots of ideas for pencils pots (cutlery drainers etc.)!
    From one overwhelmed NQT to other overwhelmed teachers! xx
     
  2. I went into school today to make a start on my classroom and to be honest was pretty shocked and overwhelmed!! As an NQT I naively thought the previous teacher would have removed all of their resources and mess and it would be ready for me, with only a bit of tidying and personalising. WRONG! I'm so glad I took my mum with me, if not I'd still be there.
    The deputy head and caretaker told me to be brutal and ruthless and just chuck anything I didn't want without worrying. The previous teacher hasn't tidied the cupboards out at all. The previous class' trays hadn't even been emptied! The resource trays weren't organised correctly - everything was muddled and incomplete as well as being very tatty and dirty.
    I'm going back in tomorrow with antibacterial spray and antibacterial washing up liquid to give multilink, unifix, plastic teddys, linking elephants etc a good soak and finish emptying/cleaning the room.
    I just can't believe how messy the room was. The cleaners have been coming in and I've had a new carpet fitted etc.
    Apart from being a huge waste of my time (I've been recovering from a complicated tonsillectomy so have only just been allowed out of the house to make a start!), I am now left with a limited supply of resources from what I can see. Does anyone have any ideas of quick fixes which may help me? I understand that as an NQT I will need to build up my own resource bank and am getting ready to make some PSRN and CLL games/activities.
    I've seen from other posts, although slightly dated, that places like Wilkinsons, Asda, Tesco are good for inexpensive resources - is this still the case?
    Or does anyone have any suggestions for simple things that I may not have thought of/come across? I've seen lots of ideas for pencils pots (cutlery drainers etc.)!
    From one overwhelmed NQT to other overwhelmed teachers! xx
     
  3. What a horrible start to your new classroom. Don't let it spoil your enjoyment of setting up your room for the first time, though.
    I was an NQT last year, itching to buy and make my own resources (KS2), but this year I'm being more cautious. I bought things last year which I haven't used, and spent a lot of my own money. I really do understand that you want everything to be lovely and shiny and new, and for your classroom to be full of fab stuff, but if I were you I'd get the basic things you think you need, as cheaply as you can, and then wait and see what you need as the year goes on.
    Having said that, I've just today bought some great cutlery drainers from The Range which will make fantastic pencil pots for tables - and only £1 each!
     
  4. inq

    inq

    Look at this
    https://community.tes.co.uk/forums/t/504482.aspx
    I'd also look at some old threads about things to make things quicker e.g. using lolly sticks, coloured stickers on books etc.
    Although it is horrible to go into a dirty messy classroom there are a few advantages - you get to know exactly what is there and it will be well sorted, if it all looked clean you'd not explore as much or feel you needed to be quite as ruthless.

     
  5. Thanks inq, I found this thread and have made a few notes but felt that some of it might be dated as some of the posts are 5 years old?
    What would you use lolly sticks for? I've heard about using them for pointers when reading and writing names on them to choose children fairly for activities and stuff but not sure what else they can be used for?
    elizabeth1972 - I'm glad you have warned me of this because I am slightly worried about spending too much before I even start - especially as I'm not being paid yet!
    I'm going back in tomorrow so hopefully once everything is clean and tidy I will find atleast one puzzle that's complete!!
     
  6. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Take things like unifix and plastic teddies home with you. Put them in a pillowcase and dump them in the washing machine. Someone else said that a few days ago on a different thread, sounds much more sensible than washing by hand.

    Last summer I moved classrooms and spent ages at the end of term and the beginning of the holidays totally cleaning and clearing my classroom. Then I had to spend a week or so cleaning and clearing my new one...I was NOT amused and had a huge sulk about it. Then saw a colleague doing exactly the same thing with a patient 'that is just how it is get on with it' sort of attitude. So this year I am being much more patient and just getting on with it.

    Make lots of things, download lots more things, go to cheap shops. Not sure where the dated threads are, but there are loads on the front page with lots of good ideas that have been running the last few weeks.

    http://www.instantdisplay.co.uk/alphabetsets.htm

    Has lots of good stuff for displays. Also look at the threads on the top few pages of primary, there are loads about displays and resources.

    Then take a few deep breaths, be glad your school is open and you didn't find this on the first day of term, relax and enjoy getting things ready. (Once it is all clean, sorting your classroom is a lot of fun!)
     
  7. Ive moved classrooms every year for the past 4 years - ever since ive been teaching- and it's often very similar!
    I quite like the chance to reorganise and sort through everything, and find ruthlessly throwing stuff away very therapeutic. Its annoying not to have known sooner, and unfair on you that simple things like old childrens trays havent even been sorted out, but just go in with some friends and lots of binliners and go crazy. Once it is a blank canvas (more or less) it doesn't take as long as youd think to put some labels up and get your display boards ready.
    DO be ruthless - I have found some ancient resources in my 4 years of classroom sorting, things that I think are as old as me! Why people keep this tat I do not know, but alot of my more experienced colleagues are hoarders 'just incase'. Throw it out while they're not around to see and nobody will miss any of it!
    It might just be me, but I cant cope with clutter and mess in my classroom. I HAVE to tidy it up every night before I go home and it helps me to stay calm and feel incontrol. Start as you mean to go on!
     
  8. You could try going to a local carboot sale. I went to a couple while I was in the process of setting up my own classroom and it's surprising what things you can find at one!
    I got stickers, dinosaurs, jigsaws, dolls clothes, stencils, Lego, dressing up clothes, bats and balls etc all for just a few pounds (most of the items needed a good wash though!).
     
  9. No it's for anyone involved with:
    • Schools, children's centres and early years settings
    • Out-of-school clubs, kids clubs and wraparound care
    • Art clubs and groups
    • Artists, crafts people and designers
    • Families
    • Teachers and trainee teachers
    • Day centres and residential care
    • Adult learning
    Never seen or heard of any restrictions to location.
     
  10. Thank you for all of the advice/tips/suggestions everyone!
    minnieminx - I too have read about shoving unifix etc in the washing machine but as the weather has been so nice, I stuck it in a big plastic box with some hot soapy water to soak whilst I was indoors chucking stuff away. Came back half an hour later, gave it a quick scrub, drained it and it was all dry within no time [​IMG].
    impulce - you are so right about it being easier once you have a blank canvas! I have emptied the rubbish out of my room completely now and am just waiting for the cleaners before I go back in at the end of the month to 'beautify' my room. I did find some ancient stuff, including Sainsbury's carrier bags full of 70s inspired fabrics. The carrier bags were the brown Sainsbury's ones which were around when I was about 4!!
    Farrier582 and Nickybo - thanks for the carboot advice; I have grandparents and aunties and uncles on the case too! I will be teaching reception so am about to make up some high frequency words for a display.
    Sillow - so THAT'S what lolly sticks are for! I shall nip out and get some, they sound invaluable!
    yirg - poor you! Although I like your idea for giving tatty books a new lease of life.
    coffeeplease - unfortunately I'm from the South East but I'm going to see if I can find somewhere like that nearer home.
    Thanks every one else :). If you have any more suggestions or tips they will all be gratefully received!! :) xx
     
  11. EcoLady

    EcoLady New commenter

    You need a Scrapstore :) http://www.scrapstoresuk.org/ Incredible places for rummaging. Hope you find one near you.
     
  12. There's a Scrapstore nearish to me, unfortunately not on the doorstep but I can see a roadtrip with a few of my fellow NQTs could be on the cards! Thanks :)
     

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