What Do Teachers Do the Week Before School?

Hey Kids!

I bet this has happened to you numerous times in the past couple of weeks.  You are out somewhere with your family, and you bump into someone you know.  This person you know looks at you and says, “Getting ready for school?” with a mischievous twinkle in his eye.

Well, guess what?  Teachers get this same question all the time, too!

In reality, teachers spend a lot of the summer, not just the week before school starts, getting ready for the next academic year.   Some of us had to move to a different classroom, and just like when people move into a new home, getting organized and making it feel like your own takes time.   Some teachers become students over the summer, taking classes on-line or at colleges.  Lots of us spend lots of time on the computer, researching new educational trends or learning new technology.   We revamp old lessons and create new ones.  We shop for our classrooms.  We design our bulletin boards.  We READ.  Then when school arrives, we kick it up to high gear.

Here’s a photo essay of what we do to get ready for school:

After today, I am just about ready for our first official day of school tomorrow.  I’ll finish reviewing  Red Kayak so that we can play a game in class tomorrow.  Speaking of Red Kayak, did you know that its author, Priscilla Cummings, wrote a companion novel called The Journey Back?  It’s all about Digger’s escape from the juvenile detention facility where he was sent at the end of Red Kayak.  That might make a good book report book for some students.  

And speaking of students, it was great to see so many of you today at our Open House!  I hope you enjoyed getting reacquainted with your classmates and teachers.

What new changes did you learn about today?  How do you feel about those changes?  Do you see any changes in our classroom?

See you tomorrow!


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35 thoughts on “What Do Teachers Do the Week Before School?

  1. Hey Mrs.Donofrio,
    Today I learned that we are getting I-Pads on Friday which I think is awesome. In our classroom I noticed that there were no computers. In your classroom you moved your desk since we got rid if the computers. I like your classroom setup because in my opinion it makes the room look larger than it is. Well see you tomorrow.


  2. Hey Mrs. Donofrio,
    Today I learned that the new girl, Martha, is from Alaska, and there are some interesting facts about Alaska. Like the Alaskan King Salmon is really good. I also found out that instead of having computers we have iPads, so it’s a little awkward having that empty space, but now it makes the room more open. I can’t wait for this school and to see what goes on along the way

  3. Hi Mrs.Donofrio!
    A change I learned about is… we are getting iPads! I feel very happy about this because it can further our learning experience and everyone is really excited to have them! I do see changes in the classroom. The computers are gone! I also noticed your bulletin board has a new addition! I was really excited to see everyone again! How did you feel about the first day of school?

    • Hi Sydney,
      I always love the first day of school. There is so much optimism in the air! Maintaining that enthusiasm for the other 179 days is sometimes a challenge, though! How do you feel about your new status as graduating 8th grader?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

      • Hi Mrs.Donofrio,
        It feels good to finally be an 8th grader! I remember looking up to them when I was little and thinking that they were so cool. Time is flying by! 7th grade went by in the blink of an eye. It’s crazy to me that I will be graduating this year and going off the high school!

  4. Hey Mrs. Donofrio ,
    The changes I learned today were that in math and science instead of two classes we were all in one class. Also in your class the computers were gone, and now your desk is there with a supply table. The real thing I’m excited for are the iPad’s. I can’t believe we are all getting individual iPad’s. I think that the new changes are going to be good for the school because it will increase our learning ability

  5. Today, I learned that we are getting IPads fort the upstairs on Friday! I am so excited that we can do research without waiting for a slow, broken computer! I also learned that we are getting a new science lab for K-5th grades! Even though I probably won’t use it, I am happy for the elementary kids. Mrs. Donofrio, in your classroom, you changed up the design by putting your desk where the computers used to be, which is really cool, because now you can see everybody! I also like how you made the little twitter bird a tree pout of newspaper leaves. I am happy that ECS is going though so many changes to make us even better! What is your favorite change? -DIA

    • Hi Dia,
      I love my little Twitter bird’s tree made out of maps, too! Thank you for giving it a thumbs up. My favorite change will be the iPads, I think. I am excited to try new activities and ways of learning with you. We will do a lot of collaborative learning, which is a fancy way of seeing we will learn from each other; I’ll teach you and you will teach me. Do you have any good apps to share with me?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  6. Hi Mrs. Donofrio its Daniel.
    I noticed that the schedule was different and that we STILL have our electives in the morning. I personally would like our electives to be in the afternoon because i am very tired after 2:00. As a matter of fact I probably would work better in the morning than in the afternoon! I also liked that you changed where your desk was. it makes the room look bigger and more professional. See you tomorrow.

  7. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,

    The new changes I learned about today were that the schedule has changed a little. We are getting personal i Pads this year. Finally there are no more computers in the classrooms, but there are really nice Mac computers in the computer lab which is a first.

    My feelings differ about two of the changes. I like that we are getting i Pads, but I don’t like that the schedule has changed.

    The changes I see in our classroom are that your desk has moved from the front of the room to the side of the room. Also there is a table with certain supplies so your not always having to get up and go to the teacher’s desk. I’ll see you tomorrow.

  8. Hi Mrs. Donofrio!
    I saw some changes in the way your classroom was set up, I liked it! It seemed new and great for the new school year. Today we had some new exciting changes for this year, being in 8th grade for our first day, a new teacher, and a new homeroom! It was exciting, but it made me a bit nervous. Another huge change is that we’re getting iPads for school tomorrow. What was your favorite change?
    ~Katie S.

    • Hi Katie,
      I’m with you! I am looking forward to the iPads. One change I don’t like is that Mrs. Etz is gone. I sure miss her already. Did it feel better going to school this year as opposed to last since you didn’t have to change schools this year?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  9. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    Red Kayak was a great book! I really like the part when Brady’s dog Tilly kept barking to the shoreline and so Brady steered the boat over to a dock and that’s how they find Ben. But anyways, some changes I learned was that we are getting ipads on Friday which is super awesome, especially because it will make doing homework much easier! Some changes I noticed in the classroom was that you rearranged your desk to the side wall instead of in the front of the room. Do you think that the Ipads will be an advantage for us students?

    • Hi Baylee,
      I think the iPads will be great and will get better and better as the year goes on and we learn more about using the. Tonight I was thinking that next week, all you kids can work on your vocabulary on your iPads! Won’t that be cool. I have been researching ways to use them in the classroom. I think we will all learn from each other this year, and I like that idea! Do you know any good apps we should try?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio
      P.S. I loved Red Kayak, too! Do you think you’ll read The Journey Back, too?

  10. Hey Mrs. Donofrio,
    I was so happy to see you and all of my other classmates today! The changes that were made are OK but not my favorite. We used to have a lot more electives to choose from and also we had Mrs.Etz. I’m very happy to have you, Mrs.Gunther, and Mr.M as my teachers this year. I also love your classroom and I can’t wait to see what we learn in it! Hope to blog you later.

  11. Hey Mrs. Donofrio,
    Some new changes I learned about today were the ipad training, Marketing, and the teachers retreat. I love that the teachers are learning about the ipad’s so they can share with us when we get them and the changes in the classroom were, you moved your desk against the wall with the windows on it.
    your student,

  12. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    On my first day back the change of having a new homeroom teacher was new for me, and being in 8th grade now. The next change was you showing us your twitter and how you’re going to follow other teachers around the world! Also a new change, the computers are gone and now we’re going to get new iPad’s! I feel like this is going to be an awesome new school year with my new homeroom, different learning, and our new iPad’s! I didn’t really see any changes in your classroom, your desk were in different places but other than that the room looks pretty much the same.

  13. Hey Mrs. Donofrio!
    Some of the new changes that I learned about today are that we, 6-8 graders, are getting ipads. We also have two new kids I our class! I am excited about both of these things. It is always nice seeing new faces in our class each year. I hope they like their new school.
    In our seventh grade classroom there are no computers. Also our teacher’s desk is in a different spot. The room also, was really clean. Good job to the teachers. They did a great job. Do you like your teachers?

  14. The biggest change is obviously switching to a new school and it is a lot different because I went to a public school and it was no uniform and the environment there is very different. I learned that 8th grade is a lot of stress because it is right before high school and once you get into high school is when colleges start looking at your grades. I didn’t see any changes in the class because I am new.

  15. Hi, Mrs. Donofrio!
    The most obvious change to me was probably getting rid of all the computers in all the middle school rooms. Also the new transition to I-Pads. I think this is awesome, and a new step-up for our school!

  16. Hey Mrs. Donofrio!
    Some new changes I learned about today were…
    1. The new schedule for our school day.
    2. That our new iPads will allow more people at once to do MobyMax and some research for the class.
    I feel like the new changes that I have listed can bring more organization into our day. I like theses changes.
    also the changes I’ve seen in our classroom today are that most of the desks are rearranged, your main desk is no longer under the air conditioner, making it better for easier access, and some new things on the bulletin board. I am looking forward to a great year!

  17. What new changes did you learn about today? How do you feel about those changes? Do you see any changes in our classroom?

    Today I learned that we are getting ipads. I really like that we are getting ipads. It seems like that would make stuff easier because as long as you bring the ipad you will have your homework (if it can be done on the ipad) and the apps that will be used in class. In our language arts classroom its has a different setup like your desk isn’t in the corner anymore its in the middle of the right side (when you’re facing the board).

  18. Hey Mrs.Donofrio,
    I learned a lot of new changes today. The new changes I learned today is that we are getting iPads and Mr. Morganelli is going to be our science and Math teacher. So no more 8a and 8b. I am really excited about getting new iPads and can’t wait until we get to start using them. I also think Mr. Morganelli is going to be a great science and math teacher. I did see changes in your classroom it looked a lot more spacious, your desk was moved, and there wasn’t any computers. See you tomorrow! Also if you want you can visit my blog @ http://www.abbylsblog.edublogs.org

  19. Hi Mrs. Donofrio!
    All of the classrooms look the same, but they are all missing one thing; computers! Instead of computers, all the middle schoolers will get an iPad. I think having iPads will be very beneficial , because last year, there were never enough computers for all of us. What change to you think will benefit the school the most? Blog you later!

    • I agree with your assessment of the iPads, Megan! I’m looking forward to seeing how it all works this year. I know you kids will help me learn. Do you know of any good apps we should try as a class?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  20. Hi Mrs. Donofrio! I’m very glad to be back in school. I love how your already ,on the first day, being energetic and encouraging. I hope everything goes as smoothly as it did last year. I have noticed some changes though. But change is good every once in a while. One change I observed was that we can’t ware pants any more. I am a little disappointed because, when it gets to winter I feel like we will get a bit cold. Another new change I have seen is that we have more Language Arts time! I am very happy and excited about this change.Sadly we only have two electives all week. When we used to have two everyday. But good comes out of it. We get to do Venice theater. I am so psyched for it . I am just waiting till we start. A change that I have noticed in all the classrooms is we don’t have computers. At first you might think thats not so good. But then I realized we were getting iPads instead! I am looking forward to getting them this Friday. Those are some good and bad changes that are new this year. The bad ones aren’t necessarily terrible, we are just not used to them yet. I can’t wait to get back in the flow of school!
    Do you have any comments or different opinions on these changes? Are you as excited as I am to get back to the old school routine?
    – Cooper

    • Hi Cooper!
      While I always enjoy summer vacation, a lot, I do appreciate the need for a routine that encourages individual and group productivity. School comes in handy in meeting this need! So, yes, I am as excited as your are to get back to the old school routine.
      I think that change, in and of itself, is not good or bad; its value lies in the goal of the change. Change just for the sake of change is not something I am fond of; however, change that helps us grow in new ways, while perhaps uncomfortable at times, is a good and necessary change. Imagine if we never got new shoes from the time we were small children until we reached adulthood because we didn’t want to change our old shoes. Yeeouch! Painful! Even though the new shoes might give us blisters at first, we eventually “break them in” and they serve us much better than the ones we outgrew. I think the iPads will be a beneficial change for us, and I am looking forward to using them with you, although I know we all might experience some level of discomfort as we learn how to use them effectively. The downstairs science lab looks pretty cool, so I am excited to see how that change works out, too. As for the uniforms, I understand your concern about cold days. We will have to see how that plays out this year. Do you think tights will work? That is what we had to wear when I went to Catholic school in Boston years and years and years ago.
      How do you feel about your own change in schedule and subsequent increase in gymnastics time?
      Thanks for your thoughtful post!
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  21. Every classroom I walked didn’t have any computers. Mrs. Donofrio’s desk was in a different spot. I like how the school tried something new. Yes the desks are setup differently.

  22. 1 new change I learned today is that 7th and 8th grade are now being provided IPads for most of our homework and notes.

    I think that it is a good thing the school is doing not only because it is easier to carry, but because kids are more interested when working with modern technology.

    The only things I have seen changed in the classroom are some desks and chairs arranged differently from last years arrangement .

  23. Our new schedule has electives throughout the day, rather then in the morning and afternoon. I’m fine with that. Yes. The computers are gone.

  24. I learned today that we are getting IPad’s.The schedule has changed and we get to spend more time with you.With these new changes I feel kinda happy like with the IPads but not the schedule.In the class room I saw that the computers were gone and the desk were in different order.

  25. Hi Mrs.Donofrio

    Today i,learned that we are getting ipads on friday. I hope that them will be fun. but I feel like there too many changes in one year. A few changes that i noticed about the classroom is no computers,your desk moved,and there some new books around the room. Mrs.Donofrio do you fell like too many changes this year too.

    • Hi Eric,
      I know what you mean about a lot of changes. They can be overwhelming. I like to break my day down to manageable pieces to help me keep up with changes or things I need to do. Sometimes I break the day down to before lunch, between lunch and dinner, and after dinner. Sometimes I break things down to one hour at a time. Sometimes I organize my day by tasks rather than by time. Do you know any strategies for helping people deal with lots of changes?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  26. Hey there! My name is Emily and I’m not sure if you’ve heard of my blog “Emily’s E-mazing Smarticles” but here’s the link anyway emilyfauroa.blogspot.co.nz. Firstly your blog is amazing! I just wanted to identify that, and secondly this post was intriguing and fun, i wish i could post like that! Emily, Room One, Auroa School, Taranaki.

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