Sunday, September 2, 2012

Moving in

New job= new office= moving in= I don't have a clue and need help.

It doesn't help that my first day in my new office is the first time I ever even saw the office. And I had students waiting outside my door for me to help them change their schedules around. So I turned on my laptop and went to work. Whenever I had a couple of minutes I would try to put stuff away, but first I had to go through what was there- which wasn't much.

No master calendar. No files of stuff to do or teach. Just student files with not much in them and some stuff from about 5 years ago that no one needs anymore.

So I put some of my stuff out and did an assessment of what I still need. But I am not sure about what all I still need to make this a nice, safe, comfortable place for students.

Ideas are welcome. Please? I am begging for ideas and help here.

So let's take a tour:

Video shot entering the office door taking a few steps in and turning around
Its not very big
Storage space is minimal at best

Now let's break it down step by step
Standing in the doorway
My desk is to the right
Students sit on the chairs
Ethan putting a table/cart together for me

Standing in the doorway looking at my desk
I am getting 2 bookcases to go behind my desk
and the metal chairs will go outside my office for waiting students

Standing in the doorway looking behind my desk
The printer is sitting on the cart Ethan put together
It used to be on my desk but was bulky
The cart also gives me 2 shelves to store paper and stuff

Sitting at my desk looking at student chairs.
This wall is shared with the library next door.
The librarian tells me that there are times
she can hear what is going on in my office.
Not me yet, but in past years she could hear, so
she suggested I put something to absorb sound
on that wall.

I went to Hobby Lobby.
I have a zebra lampshade on a small lamp on the credenza
(you can just barely see it in the second picture)
so I thought maybe one or both of these?

But I don't want it to look like a safari either so maybe this one?

Or this one. Remembering that I have to look at it
whenever I look up from working or am talking with a parent or student
This one would make me relax and wish I was on the bench

I also have these things in storage at home

There are 3 rugs-
black, cheetah, and zebra I could hang on the wall
The leaf I thought about putting on the credenza as soon as the papers
find their home in the trays I will be putting on top of the filing cabinet.
Don't know if I will use the giraffe or elephant or the boxes

But since we are the Maeser Lions
He will definately be going in the office.

But seriously, I have no idea what else to do in there.  I would like some kind of vinyl lettering with a wise counselor saying somewhere. And next to my desk on the wall that would be to my left as I sit, I am going to put a magnet board, but there will still be a big blank space.  In the video you can see the papers I have thumbtacked to the wall where I want the magnet board to go. 

Ethan is sitting on a turquoise colored footstool/cube that opens so I can put some things in there.

Suggestions? Ideas?  I want this to be a cozy place that I enjoy being in and that students feel comfortable in as well.

I was really wishing it would be big enough for a small table that I could have a scrabble game or puzzle set up so students could just pop in during class change and make a move or fit a piece. Maybe another office another day.



tawnya said...

Oh dear heaven don't use the non-zebra prints. I really hate cheesy stock photo prints and they'll be spied as ridiculous to all students in 3.3 seconds. At least the zebra theme would look like you thought about it...

Sandra said...

I was thinking much the same thing. The two non-zebra prints I chose because they look less like stock photo prints
than the others there.

Ben has a painting in his office that we got when his grandparents died that I would love in there, but that isn't going to happen now.

What I really wish is that Sharon could come down and walk around and give me ideas. I am so clueless in this area.

L.Jo said...

What's wrong with a safari theme? Unique(ish), exotic, maybe even a little inspiring (definitely more than cheesy stock photos!). And you've already got stuff for it, so it'll be cheaper than just about anything else.

Sandra said...

I just don't want students in distress to feel that they have stepped into a safari. I want them to be able to relax. But I want a bit of my personality there as well. And I have always loved Zebras, and Giraffes.

And cats- but didn't want to do the cat theme. Or the beach theme- which was easy when I was at a school where we were the Vikings. But we are the lions so zebra kinda fits. Maybe? I just don't want it to overwhelm.

ShazBraz said...

My concern with the zebra would be that you may be working with a lot of kids that have either learning or social disorders and it would - just like you said - be difficult for them to relax or calm down with that much visual contrast. At worst, you could give them a headache or a seizure. If Sage had to have a conversation in a room like that, you may as well send her home.

Also, since you want to appeal to everyone, you do need to be fairly neutral. The touches of your personality need to be introduced in very small ways - a few photos or a color. I would be pretty careful about going with any kind of a theme because you need to keep everything more like a business setting.

I have seen prints at Hobby Lobby that are more black and white - or I guess sepia - of like just one big flower. I would go with something more like that.I'll see if I can find pictures.

Are you allowed to paint the walls? I think that would be the biggest bang for your buck to warm up the space without adding a lot of stuff that would be overwhelming. Maybe you could go with a rich light blue on the wall that your desk faces and do the other three walls in a warm tan or beige.

As for the sound, I would recommend putting in as much upholstery as possible, but you don't really have room. I would put a large (but soft - maybe trailing) plant on that wall, and maybe use a cork board instead of a magnet board. Jacob has a little desktop fountain in his office - that might provide some white noise, you'd just have to be aware if there were students that were bothered by it to turn it off.

ShazBraz said...

As for a vinyl saying, I think that's a good idea, but again I would keep it simple so it wasn't distracting (giving them something to read when they should be listening to you). Personally, I think I would put "Just Breathe" somewhere that they can see it.

Here are some examples of the posters I was talking about (they would look great in the simple mid-price poster frames you can get at Michaels).

I LOVE these and I have seen them before at our local HobLob:

I'm getting carried may want to browse that site. It looks like they have some great prices.

Anna Maria Junus said...

Hmmm. I'm not sure about the Safari theme. It could become a joke in the school.

Maybe you could put up posters that make people smile. Nothing tacky like cats hanging on a pole, in fact nothing with cats. But something that teenagers can relate to.

Or positive, uplifting posters that say something without being preachy.

I like your idea of having a puzzle table or something like that. It gives kids something to do with their hands while they talk. Sometimes they don't want to look at you while they're talking.

Rather than metal chairs could you find a second hand loveseat. Put pillows and a blanket on it. Cozier and more welcoming. And maybe a small fridge with drinks. Or a kettle where you can make hot chocolate or tea.

If you want the kids to feel comfortable metal chairs isn't going to make them open up.