Thoughts while painting classrooms

Tuesday was the last day of the academic year at my school. Wednesday was a day off on which I achieved absolutely nothing (and enjoyed every minute). Today is Thursday and I was told we’d be preparing for a new school year. I was expecting to drink coffee, think about schemes of work and jot down some lesson plans. In actual fact today was a DIY day. It was surprisingly fun, definitely an adventure as I don’t think many jobs would have you come in to paint walls all day just because. Here are some things I was mulling over while I was painting.

My beautiful blue wall

My beautiful blue wall

Taking ownership over your classroom feels good

When I first started at my school I didn’t feel like I owned my classroom, it had lots of old posters and pictures that someone else picked, now I’ll be able to say I painted the walls myself. It’s also nice to know that I spent ages on all the little details like having a whiteboard in pristine condition. Even if the pupils don’t notice it’s going to make a difference to how I teach because I’ll know I did it. (The next step is to pick posters for the walls, so if anyone has any ideas, please drop a comment below.)

Good management means getting your hands dirty (and buying pizza)

Our boss was on the front lines painting walls and cleaning. She also bought us pizza at the end of the day to say thank you. It was really nice to see; I think I’d be a bit annoyed if she was just telling us what to do. If you want people to follow you you have to lead the way, pizza is also nice.

The circle of school life

I was really sad on Tuesday when our oldest class graduated. They were one of the easiest to teach and kindest classes I’ve ever had and so it’s a real shame to have them not there. My co-teacher is off on a really wonderful long vacation too, so I felt like I was losing a lot. Now that we’re getting ready for the new year I feel excited to meet the new pupils to the school, especially as they’re mostly going to be very cute 2-3 year olds. I also got to meet some of the new teachers who seem really nice and I’m looking forward to working with them and getting to know them.

If I ever get bored of teaching I could get a job as a professional decorator

We also had a few professional decorators who were in doing some of the more difficult jobs. One of them saw the wall I painted and started telling everyone that he was going to hire me as a painter. It’s nice to have options.

Manual labour is good for thinking

When I used to jog regularly I also found that busying my hands (or feet) helped free my mind for thought. I did lots of mulling today (If you must know, I’ve also resolved to try using puppets in class and that we’re going to make smoothies next cooking class) It’s my goal to find something like this I can do regularly to have more time to think things over. I’m considering cycling but we’ll see.