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40 Hour Workweek

Uncategorized   |   Jan 19, 2012

What happened to my classroom once I left teaching? See photos after 2009

By Angela Watson

Founder and Writer

What happened to my classroom once I left teaching? See photos after 2009

By Angela Watson

After teaching for almost 11 years in the Washington, D.C. area and South Florida, I moved to New York City to be with my new husband. I found work there as an instructional coach and started doing more educational consulting. In the process, I decided to leave the vast majority of my teaching materials at my former school–things I had spent a decade buying with my own money and making on my own time. I was extremely attached, as you can imagine!

A lot my teaching resources went to one of my very best friends, Ms. Sarcione, who taught in the room next to me. I was thrilled about that. Then, in the 2012-2012 school year, a Promethean board was installed in my old room and Ms. Sarcione was moved so she could use it! She now teaches the gifted inclusion third grade class in “our” room and inherited the rest of my teaching materials.

I went back to visit in January 2012 and took some photos of what she’s done with the room. This is what it looked like when I left. What I saw when I returned was just amazing–the room looks better than it EVER did before! I can’t tell you how much it means to see that someone is using, loving, and caring for all the materials I spent my entire teaching career buying and making. I thought you all might like to see what a fabulous job she’s doing, too.

What my former classroom looks like now


This is the view from the door. Ms. Sarcione had to get rid of the tables because class sizes have increased so much. She now has 26 kids and found desks to be the only solution. The kids sit in teams of 5.


Here’s her desk area. She thinks this looks like a mess! Ummm, no, it’s fabulous. Check out the Lesson Materials and Files page for details on how to organize your stuff like this.


This is the corner behind her desk. She displays her own awards and certificates on the far wall, and on the orange bulletin board adjacent to it, a featured student gets a turn to do the same.


This is a view from the teacher’s desk.


Ms. Sarcione often has kids sit on the rug during lessons using the interactive whiteboard. To the far left, you can see the kids’ cubbies. They keep many of their textbooks in their desks, but the rarely-used ones go in the back of each child’s cubby. In the front of each cubby, students keep misc. supplies (extra pencils, erasers, glue, etc.) in their own plastic tub. You can learn more about a system for storing student supplies on the Tables vs. Desks blog post.


Ms. Sarcione has her own laptop cart! (Jealous.) She has kept the storage closet so neat that the kids are allowed to sit in there and work if they want. When this was my room, you could barely open the door, much less walk in!


I did actually set up the classroom library like this during my last year of teaching. It looks very cozy, so I like it for that reason, but having the two shelves touch in the corner makes that area kind of crowded when multiple kids are picking out books. Student book boxes line the window sill. Details about the book organizations, book bin labels, etc. can be found on the Classroom Librarypage.


This is the bathroom, sink, and water fountain area. She displays birthdays on the door and the cabinets showcase different books the class has read about different character traits.

So, that’s her room! THANK YOU, Ms. Sarcione, for allowing me to share these, and for doing such amazing work in that classroom with the kids each and every day.

My classroom tours


Classroom Photos 2009
Classroom Photos 2008
Classroom Photos 2007
Classroom Photos 2006
Classroom Photos 2005
Classroom Photos 2004
Classroom Photos 2003
Classroom Photos Before 2003

Check out other teachers’ classroom photos

Want to see photos of Other Teachers’ Rooms?  I’ve collected classroom pictures from educators in all different parts of the United States! Learn their tips for desk arrangement, organization, and more.

Please share YOUR classroom photos!

Would you like to have your pictures featured here? I’d love to add your classroom pics to the Other Teachers’ Rooms page! Contact me via email with the link to your Flickr, Tumblr, Picassa, blog, Pinterest board, or even a public Facebook album! Don’t worry about making sure everything looks perfect: we want to see REAL classrooms that are used by REAL students every day! International teachers–we’d especially love to see what your rooms look like!

Angela Watson

Founder and Writer

Angela created the first version of this site in 2003, when she was a classroom teacher herself. With 11 years of teaching experience and more than a decade of experience as an instructional coach, Angela oversees and contributes regularly to...
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      1. Her kids are going to (also) learn important lessons on organization and working together (in the teams). How lucky they are!

  1. So fun to see your old classroom. It’s great that all of your years of resources aren’t just sitting in boxes somewhere! You must be so glad you thought to document all those classrooms! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks, Allisyn! I am SO glad I documented my classrooms, but I didn’t do it for my first three years. I didn’t have access to a digital camera back then and was too cheap to pay to develop the film! LOL! However, yesterday when I was in my old room, I uncovered a notebook that had a bunch of photos of my very first classroom in 1999…I’m in the process of scanning and uploading the pics! Those are even more special to me because they’re the only ones from when I taught PreK. 🙂

  2. I would love to hear about the desk chandelier too! How did she make it or did she buy it? Would love to have one above my desk!

    1. Hi, Fran, and Carla! The chandelier is from IKEA. I believe it was a Christmas decoration that could be hung like a wreath or this way. I think I paid around $30 for it?

  3. Hi Angela,

    I have seen your work lately, and hugely impressed …you did and are doing a great job. I am running two small schools in sub-urban and rural areas of Pakistan; where we are also trying our best to provide education to those who are deprived for want of resources. I expect we will benefit a lot from what you have made available and shared. Indeed, knowledge should be transferred through any possible way and mode. Best wishes and very best regards…

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