From a Shell to a Home

Angelia Ebner Education, Elementary, Life in the Classroom, Mentoring

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... now it is a place for learning and growing.

… now it is a place for learning and growing.

It was a shell...

It was a shell…


Have you ever been faced with the chore of moving your room year after year? It can be tedious, time consuming and difficult, but full of amazing opportunities.

This is my fourth classroom move in four years. At the end of last year I found myself pretty depleted due to so many different factors impacting my career. I love being an educator very much, but some years just seem exhausting. I was excited to leave the year with my room “set”, clean and ready to prepare plans for this next school year. I even told another staff member that I was ready for a more uneventful 2015-16 school year. I should have known that fate knew better.

I found myself moving from a second grade position back up to fifth grade. I had not taught a grade level higher than third grade in 8 years. I had avoided the conversation of moving back up to join the fifth grade team through out the end of May. Then came the call while I was visiting family in June. My principal really needed me to make this move…and I was apprehensive. Then she read me some of my potential students names. I had some these students in the past when I taught younger grades. My heart soared! It was like I was going to get a sneak peak into a future I didn’t think I would have the opportunity to be a part of. I was going to see how “my kids” were really doing and how much they had grown as people since I last had them. This year is going to be special…and this was just the kind of year I needed!

I set about transforming a new classroom from a shell of sorted past teachers into a home for my students, my kids, and me. I have always wanted my classroom to physically reflect my goal of creating a safe place for students to be and to learn. Our room is clean, smells good, and feels good! The chaos that once existed in the room has been erased with paint and posters. A new calm supportive learning environment was emerging. There are lamps and personal touches spread through out the room and the colors are cohesive and help to accentuate the materials posted to aid student learning. Everything is organized and purposeful.

No matter what kind of year you think you need, sometimes the universe, and your principal, just knows better. Every experience in our classrooms is an opportunity for reflection and growth. This 2015-16 school year will be another year of growth for my students and for me. We will not just be a class going through daily motions in a shell of a room, we will be a family of leaders that are learning and growing side-by-side in our new home.


Angelia Ebner

Maricopa, Arizona

I am in my eleventh year of teaching and I love working in many different educational settings. I have taught kindergarten, through fifth grade and multi-grade classes. My current teaching assignment is fifth grade in the Maricopa Unified School District. I am a National Board Certified Teacher, an Arizona Master Teacher, Vice President of the Maricopa Education Association, a Candidate Support Provider for National Board Candidates through the Arizona K-12 Center and a National Board Ambassador for Arizona. As an educator, my goal is to inspire life long learning in my students and facilitate leadership and efficacy among my peers.

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Comments 5

  1. Jen Robinson

    Hi Angie-

    Thanks for taking a leap of faith. That was the toughest phone call to make – but I knew it was what was best for kids…

  2. Danielle Brown

    This post is bittersweet! Kudos to you for taking the leap, and I suspicion you will be thankful you did! I think its great that you will see first hand how your students have progressed through the years vs. being told. I look forward to hearing more about your journey.

  3. Sandy Merz

    I’m going to start calling you “Classrooms on Wheels.” We don’t have much in common. I last changed rooms around 1994. Sometimes in the middle of class, I’ll think about how much of my life I spend in that room. And nearly all of those years, I’ve spent teaching the same content. I have some students in both math and engineering, but other than that never have repeats. But for all the consistency, fate never misses a chance to throw some curves each year.

  4. Kathy Wiebke

    You are going to have a fantastic year! I loved teaching 5th grade…the kids were so inquisitive and aware of the world around them. They are thinkers and have opinions. You are going to be amazing and your students are going to be better off for you taking on the challenge!

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