Room parents are on a mission to help the teacher organize the plans for different activities for the students at Chickering school. The job of room parent is an important job because they are planning all of the field trips and special events like Halloween parties! Kids are always having fun when they have field trips but if the room parents did not organize the field trips it would be more work for the teachers. We talked to 2 room parents to find out what it’s like to be a room parent.
Mrs. Johnston and Mrs. Sullivan are our room parents this year in Mrs. Grady’s class. We wondered if they had been a room parent before. Ms. Johnston shared, “I have been a room parent for Mrs.Saunders and Mrs. Baker.” Mrs. Sullivan said she has been a room parent for Mrs. Dish, Ms Cronin and Mrs. Cohn.
Mrs. Johnston said “I enjoy getting to help the teacher and you don’t get to talk about your own child. You get to know the teacher.” Ms.Sullivan says, “I like being a room parent because I get to meet other kids in the class and get to help the teacher when she needs it,” they both shared with us when asked what they enjoy doing as a room parent.
We were curious to know if their current classroom teacher, Mrs.Grady, has asked them to do a favorite activity and if so what is it? Mrs.Johnston said “I like using the sign-up Genius tool.” “I like supervising the field trips,” said Mrs. Sullivan.
Our final question was what are they looking forward to doing in Mrs.Grady’s classroom this year. Mrs Johnston apparently likes the writers breakfast while Mrs.Sullivan likes to hang out with the kids at every chance she can.
And that ladies and gentlemen was our final question of the day. What surprised us most was they liked the sign-up Genius tool. We are looking forward to lots of fun activities planned this year by Mrs. Grady with the help of these great, experienced Room Parents.
Have you ever wondered what happens during the summer to prepare for the opening day of school? We certainly have. So we decided to interview a select group of people to figure out what happens behind the scenes. In order to gather information we asked the following two questions of Administrators, Support Staff, and all teachers.
What were your feelings the night before school and the first day of school?
How did you prepare for the first day of school and how much time did it take?
Support Staff and Administration
The support group is very important. They help the school get ready over the summer for the first day of school. The people in the support group are the custodians, the cafeteria ladies, the IT Technician, Sam Twining, the people that work in the office, our principal, Dr.Nugent and assistant principal, Dr. Reinemann. They all have very different jobs, but they all have very important jobs. The custodians clean up the school. They spend all summer cleaning, sweeping, waxing, mopping, and so much more. We are very thankful for their hard work. The Cafeteria Ladies prepare food for the first three days of school. It takes them about three days to do this. The IT technicians work all summer. They update all the computers and install new software and new computers. They update the servers and Internet connections for the school. The office needs to know who is in each class. They also need to order supplies for each of the classrooms and put them in the correct classroom. They make many handbooks for teachers, teacher’s aids, and the family handbook for parents. They work all summer doing this. We talked to Dr. Reinemann, our Assistant Principal, about what she does during the summer. She spends a good “chunk of the summer” coming to school. She spends part of July and most of August getting ready for the students to come back. Dr. Reinemann makes sure that the custodians have the school ready. She orders supplies and buys math journals and sends them out to the teachers. For example, if you are going up to 5th grade, she has to make sure your 4th grade teacher tells your 5th grade teacher all they know about you. It takes her a little less then a month to do this. That is how the support staff helps prepare school for us.
Do you ever wonder what your teachers do during your summer vacation? We did and decided to interview one teacher from each grade: Kindergarten – grade 5. We discovered many similarities and differences. We learned that, every classroom teacher has to go out and buy supplies for their class. GO binders were introduced this year to help students organize their homework, notes for home, and an extra folder for miscellaneous items. Another similarity is that, all the teachers were sad that summer was over. They were also excited to meet their new students and learn about them. For almost every teacher it took 1-2 weeks, to prepare the classrooms for the school year.
Some different things that teachers do during the summer are… The kindergarten teachers have to clean the toys, and put all the different markers, and crayons, and colored pencils in all the different bins, so it’s easy and clear for the kindergartners to find things. Grades 1 and 2 set up math, reading, writing, and science areas. The older grades focus on organizing their classroom and classroom libraries. The last difference is that every grade gets different level books.
The Specialists, in our school, are the teachers who teach Physical Education [P.E.], Art, Music, Band, Library, and Technology. We noticed there were similar tasks as well as unique tasks for their subject. The average time it took for the Specialists to prepare during the summer was 4-5 days. Most Specialists had lots of new supplies to organize and put away. They also put up bulletin boards and posters. The Specialists had many different tasks to complete before the first day of school, for example, the Technology Integrator had to set up new network accounts, while the P.E. teachers had to work on writing new curriculum. All their feelings, the night before school started, were the same; they were all nervous and excited to start a new year.
We were surprised at how much the school staff has to do, behind the scenes, to prepare the school for the new year. Our curiosity is finally fulfilled.
Reported by: Adam, Chetan, Will G., Alexis, Ryan, Martin, Lauren, and Claire