A Full Fledged Schoolma’am

As we start preparing for the school year to begin we talk a lot about benchmarks and benchmarking. For those of you not into standardized testing and literacy testing, a benchmark is just the place where students should be by the time they enter six grade. I benchmark myself against heroines in literature. At least I did until I got older than all of them (Anne Elliott, I’m gunning for you next!). But I always feel pretty happy when I find myself doing things that they did. Betsy traveled the world. I traveled the world. Jo cut her hair short. I cut my hair short. Anne Shirley taught school. I teach school. 

In preparation for the school year, I started re-reading Anne of Avonlea a few days ago. Anne says many helpful things like “Teaching is really very interesting work…Something funny is almost sure to happen every day, and the children say such amusing things.” Although the long summer vacation is a definite perk, I think I teach because it’s not boring. No day is ever like the other, no matter how hard you try to keep to a routine. 

I’ve met almost all of my homeroom students. It’s so hard to tell what they’ll be like. I’m sensing that my girls are type-a over-achievers, and my boys are type-z fun guys. We’ll see how this mix plays out. During this “meet and greet” time a few of my old students came in to say hi and talk. It was really hard not to devote all my time and attention to them. Part of me thinks that deep down I will always love them best. But, apparently this is not actually the case I have been told by wiser teachers than myself. We’ll see.

And now a few pictures of the classroom:


This is what you see when you walk in the door. Why yes, those are faux marble desks. And yes, I do have a map of Paris and France. This is to fool children into thinking that I am a francophile. Actually, I use them when I teach the French Revolution.


This is the back of the room. You’re looking at lockers, the sink, the chalkboard wall above the sink, and the washi taped cupboards. This is my new timeline. It’s pretty amazing. At least it will be when I get my act together and start putting things on it. Right now I rather like the pleasing stripe of colors.


Plants play a rather important role in the classroom. They create work, which is necessary when you have twenty-two student clambering for a job. And they make the room feel less sterile. I’d love to have fresh flowers year-rounnd, but until I win the lottery my plants will have to fill that role. We also have a fig tree this year, thanks to my grandparents in KS!

School starts Tuesday. Don’t worry – the first day, second day, third day, and fourth day outfits are all planned. And we’re doing a dress code fashion show. So….it’s going to be a good year.



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