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I will always remember a very specific sensory experience as a classroom teacher during the days or weeks leading up to the first day of school.
Banging the top of an open stapler to attach a piece of paper or decorative border to a wall was symbolic, stressful, and oddly satisfying. It sounded like a musical production when other teachers would be working on the same task at the same time next door or across the hall.
For the first time in 18 years, I did not partake in the ritual. I am now a credentialed teacher (CT) for a homeschool charter and I will be supporting parent educators who teach their children at home. In this new role, I will spend about 50% of my time working from home and the other half traveling to check in to meet with families in their homes. I have literally left the classroom, papered walls and all.
I had to define a comfortable and appropriate space in my house where I could be productive on the days that I’m on the computer and phone most of the time. Some believe that you should avoid setting up a home office in your bedroom, but I did.
I made sure it was just one corner, the furthest away from my place of rest (bed). I started a daily routine of “tearing it down” at the end of each workday, by neatly putting all work devices and items away so it doesn’t look or feel like an office when I’m not working.
I love it. There’s a ton of natural light, it’s tidy, and the table that I purchased for it serves as the perfect standing desk. I added a few more items and touches to my setup that bring me joy including a houseplant and a big chunky keyboard.
I did not expect that one little corner in my house could be transformed into a mini home office, although I had frantically done this in the past during 2020 lockdown. It was nice to create my own work from home space on my own terms.