Working for a school is a humbling experience in itself, but the last two days have been the most humbling so far.  I arrived to my classroom yesterday to find desks and chairs, that’s it.  School starts Tuesday.  The desks weren’t even the right ones and the chairs were zip tied together in bunches, so the room felt truly empty.  I know a lot of new teachers begin with the same or worse, so this is not a complaint, I just did not expect it to feel so overwhelming to discover that there were not even shelves in my room!

My classroom in the first couple of hours yesterday.  Putting the UW chair in the corner made me feel a little better! 

I think part of my reaction was due to expectations.  I expected most of the furniture I needed to be in the room and started to feel lost knowing where to put everything I purchased and collected over the summer without it.  However, this is the part that is really amazing!  With the help of my lead teacher, other teachers at my school, the principal, and the building manager, there was enough unwanted furniture collected from other parts of the school to make my room functional within hours and the rest was quickly ordered to reach me in the next few weeks.  Moreover, my husband and sister spent the entire day with me, helping to make do with what we had.  So, by the end of the day, my room was far from complete, but so much better thanks to the help of nearly a dozen people!

I am truly humbled by all of the help that I have received to make my classroom ready.  My mom has been collecting books for my classroom library and other odds and ends for over a year.  My dad bought me the coolest maps to hang on my walls.  An old friend from college donated a wonderful used stereo.  Another friend gave up the husky stuffed animal that her husband worked so hard to win at the fair for their kids.  Other friends have promised postcards for my students, including one who has already sent a postcard from Chicago.  Yet another friend is going to spend part of her Sunday in my classroom, helping to put together a bookshelf and get posters up on the wall.  My husband spent both yesterday and today running around campus helping to whip my room into shape, giving up both of his days off.  My sister spent nine hours on Friday in my room and is recruiting friends to come help with her again all-day Monday.  My lead teacher spent half of her classroom prep day helping me to get what I need for my room.  My entire team of fourth/fifth grade teachers has contributed time and classroom items to help me be prepared for Tuesday.  My coach came in and patiently listened while helping to move desks and tape off the spot where our class carpet will be.  Another new teacher, and friend from my program, lent me bins for my students to use since their desks will have no cubbies for the time being. Many others on my school team popped in to help me with materials or kind words of encouragement or simply to offer help…

I know that the list of helping hands in the coming days and years will only grow longer.  This is why I feel so humbled this afternoon.  Even though my to-do list still feels endless and probably always will, I feel like I can take it on because others have so selflessly helped me.  Working at a school is the most humbling experience I’ve ever had.  I feel part of a true community and am really touched to have so many wonderful people in my life willing to help.  Thank you all!

My first morning message for my students, including our first postcard.

The beginnings of the Husky fan club, hope you’ll join too!
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2 thoughts on “Gratitude

  1. Chloe says:

    You are on such an exciting adventure, Olivia! I can't wait to hear all about your classroom and students. Let me know if I can help in any way.

  2. Olivia says:

    Thanks Chloe! I will! I survived day one! What an adventure šŸ˜‰

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