Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Why I Change Classrooms

A few people have asked why I have to move classrooms every 9 weeks. The answer is that I teach in a year round school. Let me explain:

- I still teach 10 months out of the year but those 10 months are spread out over the year. I do not have a long summer break.
- Typically I teach for 9 weeks and then have 3 weeks off. That means I get a break in each season!
- There are 4 different schedules in our year round system. Each schedule is called a track.
- Only 3 tracks are "in" at a time. There is always one track that is "tracked out". For example - Tracks 1, 3, 4 may be tracked in and track 2 is on break for 3 weeks.
- Because only 3 tracks are in the school building at a time, the school is designed to only fit 3 tracks. This allows there to be more students enrolled in the school than the building's capacity allows.
-In second grade there are 8 teachers/classes but only 6 teachers/classes are tracked in at a time. This is why we have to move - when you are tracked out you do not have a classroom!

It may sound complicated but once you get used to it all it's pretty simple. As a teacher I LOVE teaching year round. I love having breaks in each season. I love having breaks more frequently. It really cuts down on teacher burn out.

One disadvantage is that when I set up my classroom it's only for 9 weeks. I don't put up near as much things on my walls as the typical teacher probably does. At first this bothered me but honestly I like it now. I only put things on the walls that have a purpose. I don't have cutesy bulletin boards but I do put up student work and anchor charts. As year round teachers we also tend to be super organized - because we have to be! We all have 2 large rolling carts that we store our materials in. When it's time to track out the carts are moved to storage. As a grade level we have many items that stay in the rooms so we don't have to move them around.

This is my little cart - full of craft supplies, manipulatives, workbooks, tissues, pencils and SO much more!

I always store my large cart behind my desk because it houses my teacher manuals and resources that I use frequently. In this picture I have containers stacked on top of my cart because I took this right before I tracked out - so I was packing up!

Year round is definitely a different kind of teaching, but I've found that it's just right for me! 


  1. Great description. I've always wondered about year-round schools. I'm sure once you get used to it, it's great. Are you always on same track with same teachers? I would assume yes...