Day 3 of organizing the classroom did not go well. I have one completely empty wall space in my classroom. It is the wall behind my computer tables. (I didn't even take pictures today it was so frustrating!) Let me say that again- it's behind my computer tables. Which means to get it it, I either disconnect everything and move the tables out or stand on the tables to get to the space. I am not a fan of standing on tables, so I opted for the move the tables out strategy. It's an empty wall with nothing on it- no windows- just a solid blank wall. I planned to put 4 paper spaces on this wall- my plan is to create a "What Close Readers Do" board and then board space to hang anchor charts. I can't easily get to this wall, so it's not space I want to change very often, but hanging an anchor chart or two every so often is fine. Oh, and this wall used to be a bright color- it used to be blue, some other walls were yellow or red. But people didn't like that so after 8 years, they just painted it a neutral sort of beige-ish gray. But the other three walls in the room are a different color- more of an off-white, beige. So it's a strange color and doesn't match the other 3- all the more reason to put up paper.
So, my teammate and I decided that I need to go with a pattern of some sort- I opted for alternating boards of black and azure blue. I put up the first board that is above my desk. I can measure from the wall and from the ceiling and get that board fairly straight- no problem really, but my paper ends up being crooked across the top- I have a serious problem measuring and cutting things straight... but it shouldn't matter because the edges of the paper are straight- right? Well, the sides are but the top and bottom are crooked. But I can fix that because I can measure the border straight from the ceiling so I fixed that... The first board looks good. That was yesterday...
But today, I needed to finish that wall. Well, I measured and cut my paper (but remember it's crooked from yesterday on the roll so when I measure and cut today, the paper is still crooked at top and bottom. I mark the wall so many inches from the top and- really, I am a smart person- but not a spatial person apparently because the second board was crooked on the sides (because it must be crooked at the top- that's the only way the straight sides can be crooked) and not equidistant from the other board. I am going under the assumption that the first board was straight... I think I get it straight and then move to the next one only to realize again my paper is crooked on the sides... I don't even know how to fix it because I have nothing on the wall as a frame of reference that I know is straight. OMG- I can't even think about it. What should have been so simple- hang 3 sheets of 4 foot wide x 5 foot long paper on the wall STRAIGHT- it shouldn't be hard, but it about killed me. At one point I am standing on a student chair with a yardstick in one hand, the staple remover in the other, pushpins in my mouth and my stapler between my knees, cursing my decision to even hang paper on that stinking wall.
Really- do I need paper there? No! Is it worth the stress I went through today? No (At least I feel like that today)! Will my students learn better because my paper is pretty? No!
Well, I got the paper up- but my border are still not stapled down because I can't tell if they are straight or not- so I will ask someone who is better at it than I am to look at it- but I am kind of afraid to do that because I know she will tell me that the other board I think is straight- isn't and then I will feel like I need to do it all over again... So, I really should just staple it and give up!
The OCD person in me thinks that the slight possibility of crookedness will bother me because I will look at it every day, but I need to squash that OCD person and just say the hell with it- once I begin teaching a slightly crooked border is going to be the least of my concerns.
I am completely in awe of people whose rooms I look at on Pinterest and in blogs. Everything looks so perfect and beautiful- I think- I am smart enough and creative enough and talented enough to do this too. Then I begin the process and realize that I am not and leave my room today completely frustrated and deflated...