How we use our time in the summer

Today I wanted to give you all an inside look at how we use our summer time. I’ll have to warn you though, it isn’t a pretty sight…

Since we are a part time preschool, we don’t have class through the summer, we follow the school calendar of our local school district! There are advantages and disadvantages that come with running a part time preschool. On one hand, we have a shorter year and more of a concise timeline. But, since everything is so fast paced, if we aren’t 100% on top of things when the school year starts then, we can tend to get more behind than when we started.

Over the past few summers when have spent our time making necessary repairs to our building, running enrollment for the coming school year, planning for the coming school year, and organizing. I would have to assume that if you aren’t teaching during the summer then this is sort of what your schedule looks like. On top of that, if the program you have is out of your home, you probably can relate to things being in a constant state of disarray, right? Well, believe it or not, we have that here at our program too.

This summer we have been working on organizing all of our supplies so that it fits in one space…let me say, it has been quite the task! Normally, when you see photos of our rooms, they look pretty and put together like in the photo below.

There is a dark side to all of this and I’m sure a lot of you can relate. It’s that closet you refuse to let guests open when they come over. It’s that catch all drawer in your kitchen. It’s that chair in your bedroom that isn’t so great for sitting, but amazing at holding clean (and sometimes dirty) laundry. We have what we like to call the “dumping zone” here at Teach Preschool. It’s a place where we throw things last minute so our photos don’t look messy. Up until this summer, the dumping zone covered a couple closets, the basement, and the garage. I didn’t think to snap any photos once we first started, but here is where we are at now…with everything condensed to one space…

You might be at a loss for words, and that’s okay. What we are hoping though, is that these photos bring you some peace. I think it is easy to look at the daily happenings of other peoples’ schools and just assume since you can’t see the mess then it isn’t really there. I’d be the first to tell you that the mess is probably just very well hidden!

I wanted to bring you all along as we organize our storage area! These are our “before” photos and I will share the end results later this week! We are working hard now so that our school year can have a great start.

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By |2018-11-02T10:36:15+00:00July 31st, 2018|

About the Author:

Hi! I am Lauren Barkes. Currently, I am on staff with Deborah at the Teach Preschool Children's Studio. In The Children's Studio I teach class day to day and I also handle the administrative side of the school. I have been with Deborah in the classroom for about 5 years! I am currently in school to get my associate's degree in Early Childhood Education. I feel so honored to be apart of such a wonderful community in the early childhood field. I like to describe myself as a life long leaner, dreamer, and creator. I strive to continuously be building a life-long love for learning in my students!


  1. Betty August 5, 2018 at 7:29 am - Reply

    Thank you Deborah,
    I was just looking at my “mess room”. I was really depressed because school starts soon and I was still working on my going back to school sort and mess area. I was a little overwhelmed. So thank you for giving me a glimpse of your mess. Take one day at a time and think of those smiling faces we are all doing this for.
    Take care,

  2. Kathy August 5, 2018 at 8:59 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing the reality of life as a preschool teacher! I have the same challenge with piles of stuff around my classroom and home! It’s never ending! We reoriginize and clean our playroom at this time of year too! It’s a big job! But in the long run it’s worth the time spent. I feel more efficient and focused.

  3. Donna` Cordeiro August 5, 2018 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    Oh my gosh! Thank you for that! My daycare is out of my home and I have a “toy room”, and I work school year only as well. I spend the month of July organizing, disinfecting, tossing and reviewing all the numerous “things” in there, then vacation officially starts for me. So glad to see that you’re work space is not so “perfect”, like mine. :o)

  4. Carla LaFurge August 5, 2018 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    Thank you for being real!!! I DO FULL TIME CHILDACARE AND EARLY CHILDHOOD TEACHING IN MY HOME. So I dont feel so terrible about all the play, teaching materials that fill up my home now. Taking a stay vaca to get ready for the new school year, declutter, organize, and catch up on business responsibilities. Again, thanks for the honesty and all the help and ideas that I get from you.

  5. Sari August 5, 2018 at 4:59 pm - Reply

    I WISH I could get into my classroom before school starts! Our preschool classrooms are used for camp during the summer & off limits until 1 week before the kids come. It’s really hard to get ready in that short time for the start of school, much less to have the time to organize for the year. Seems like a dream to have an organized room…

    • Deborah Stewart August 8, 2018 at 12:13 pm - Reply

      As much as I do like getting organized early, I can say that I still never feel fully organized even after school starts!

  6. Sarah Grasch August 5, 2018 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    Hi Deborah! Thank you so much for sharing that behind-the-scenes reality with us! It looks very familiar! As we approached the 2 week mark prior to school opening this year, our floors were still not done. Which meant our classrooms were totally empty, and we were unable to do any kind of work there. We were trying not to panic. ! Thank goodness they finished the floors and we have been able to concentrate on the quickly approaching school year.
    As I was admiring the photo of your finished classroom, I noticed the tunnels on top of what I’m guessing is your block shelf. Are those made of wood? Did someone make them for you? Or did you purchase them? I bet they add so much fun to your building center.
    Thanks again for sharing! I love to get your emails!
    Have a great school year!

    • Deborah Stewart August 8, 2018 at 12:12 pm - Reply

      Hi Sarah! I bought the tunnel blocks off of Amazon. It’s funny, I thought the children would LOVE them but they actually don’t play with them nearly as much as I thought they would.

  7. Pamela Spicer August 6, 2018 at 9:00 am - Reply

    Thank you. It helps to know that everyone has a project and has to deal with “dumping zones” to declutter!!

  8. Denise August 11, 2018 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    THANK YOU!!! I needed so much to see those photos.

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