Field Trip: Angie’s Classroom!

TAT now brings you the views you've been dying to see: the insider's view to my classroom. For the convenience of my beloved readers, I annotated the photographs. I could have taken the time to make text boxes, but I thought the text boxes lost a lot of the "graffiti feel."


This is a photo of the outside of my portable.

1. I used to have a banister here. Some kids got a little too rough with it over the summer.

2. The vast expanse I have to cross daily to get to my classroom. It doesn't look intimidating now, but imagine it covered in four feet of snow.

3. Some towers behind me. I think they have something to do with providing electricity for our village.

4. Some random barrels. I think they used to hold oil.

5. The staircase that will be completely covered in snow before Christmas.


The Angie Board. It's right behind my desk.

1. Pictures from the senior trip Steve and I chaperoned (yes, I took a work trip to Hawaii; hate me if you must).

2. Wedding announcement and wedding candids. So my kids know what I looked like before I was an old married woman.

3. Caricature of me drawn in Hawaii. In case you can't tell, I'm wearing a cape, and the drawing is titled "Super Angie." How appropriate.

4. Interview with Dave Barry. I've read his column ever since I was in grade school. One of the biggest disappointments of my life (okay, I admit, I've had a very good life, but STILL) was when he stopped his weekly column. Luck for me, he re-emerges every four years to cover elections.

5. My pink water bottle. It goes everywhere.

6. Do I really need to tell you who this is? Do you really not recognize the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court? You must have had bad social studies teachers.


One of my hobbies is cutting up news magazines to make posters for my classroom. (It's okay. You can think it's lame. I've already come to grips with it.) This is my latest set of posters about the election.


Some of the cut up magazines also make it to my bureaus. This one highlighted the Olympics.

1. Cover photo of LeBron James. My students affectionately refer to him as "LeBrick."

2. The amazing Dara Torres. When I grow up I want to be like her. But I probably won't be.

3. Shawn Johnson. One of the boys in my last hour class is in love with her. He has a picture of her on his binder.


Behind the Olympians is my supply cupboard. The kids are supposed to stay out of it, but it's unbelievably attractive to their little fingers..

1. Filing supplies. I hate running out of them.

2. A rolled up poster of something. I didn't know where else to put it.

3. Binder clips. I have a compulsive need for them.


This is the paper and writing utensil cupboard.

1. My nifty paper holder that stores them according to color. It's new this year. I heart it.

2. Evidence of my failed attempts to teach my students organization. Each class period has a cupboard, but some of the kids insist on stashing their binders on top of my bureaus.

3. Smelly markers. Another item in my classroom I heart.

4. Paper scrap box.

5. Class set of grownup size scissors. I ordered them so that my kids would stop borrowing mine out of my desk.


I heart my smelly markers so much that they deserve a close up. I couldn't teach without them. They are a huge motivation to my kids.


This is the art cupboard. We use it for all sorts of fun hands-on projects.

1. Little plastic containers. They're like the containers for fry sauce (whoa, Idaho alert!). We use them for paint, beads, and spices.

2. Bubble wrap. I just saved it in case it came in handy.

3. Raffia. It just seemed like a good thing to have in an art cupboard.

4. Feathers and other random paraphernalia. They come in handy at the oddest times.


This cupboard belongs to two of my most lovable students. For three years I tried to help them organize their social studies binders. I begged. I pleaded. I stood over them while they put their papers in the right sections. It didn't work. Their binders were a disaster. They could never find anything.

Finally I gave them their own cupboard. Miraculously, they can find everything now. Works for me...


This is my teacher of the month poster. You may not be impressed that I was teacher of the month in a school with only sixteen teachers, but I'll have you know that there have only been three teachers of the month from Shishmaref School. I was the third. 🙂


My poster makes me feel better about myself when I look at my files. I made the mistake of ordering the cheapest metal frames out of the supply catalog. They didn't last a week.

1. My little magnet clippy men. I have about ten, but I can only ever find about four of them at a time. My male students like to hide them around the classroom attached to random metal surfaces.

2. It looks messy, but it's actually organized topically by World, U.S., and Alaska History.

3. Label left over from a Law and Order video we made during my first year in Shishmaref. I haven't bothered to remove it yet.


1. The most beautiful item in my classroom. I bought this chair at Sam's Club in Anchorage last year. It was only fifty bucks. It cost forty dollars to mail to Shishmaref. Best ninety dollars I've ever spent.

2. My Disney princess calendar.


The second most beautiful thing in my classroom: my princess desk. I couldn't bear to throw away last year's princess calendar, so I made it into a desk cover.


My boy students were extremely unimpressed with the princess desk. In order to appease them, I granted them (almost) complete control over one of the bureaus. It is called The Boy Cupboard.

1. Advertisement featuring Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal. I have some diehard Kobe fans in my classes, and the advertisement has sparked intense feelings.

2. Another glaring advertisement of my failure to instill a sense of organization in my students.

Congratulations on making it all the way through the field trip. The classroom is actually quite bare right now. It will become slightly more alive looking after we create some things. I'll be sure to keep everybody posted.