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It was a sink or swim situation. Thankfully, I was able to swim.

Mine was one of the smallest rooms in the building. I had desks wall to wall front to back in the room. The desks at the back of the room were against the wall. My desk/chair were backed up against the wall/chalkboard. We were really packed in that room.

Another new, young teacher had a larger room and many fewer students across the hall. She offered to change rooms with me, so we went to the principal and asked if we could do this, with us doing the actual moving ourselves.

His answer caught me (AND the other teacher) off guard, but taught me a lot about administrators.

He said, "Let's just leave it like it has always been."

OK. So, I basically had martial law at the beginning of the school year. As the year progressed, it was possible to lighten up. Having same gender students made everything easier.

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