Back to School Classroom Organization
Julia G. Thompson | Teaching.monster.com
As the new school term approaches, teachers everywhere are gearing up to meet its challenges. We find ourselves checking out the sale pages in the newspaper (after the initial shock of seeing the dreaded “BACK TO SCHOOL!” headlines passes) and finding other ways to get ourselves organized.
We eye our professional wardrobes to see what we need to spruce up or even iron after a summer of wearing flips.We all tend to think of the practical, easy-to-manipulate things first, then deal with lesson plans and the bigger picture of instructional needs later.
This issue is one geared to help you do just that—get your classroom in shape. Once your room is ready, then you can take a deep breath and get to work,knowing that you are well-organized and ready.
In the lists below, excerpted from , you’ll find suggestions for how to get the physical environment of your room in order.
The First Step: Evaluate the Room
• You will save time if you take a digital camera, paper, pencil, and a tape measure with you on your first visit. Photograph the room thoroughly and be sure to measure areas such as shelves, storage areas, bulletin boards, and the chalkboard and/or whiteboard.
• Look for equipment and furniture that needs repair or that pose safety concerns.
• Survey the room for items or areas that have the potential to distract your students.
• Count the student desks, tables, chairs, and computers to determine if you have enough for your students. Make note of any necessary repairs.
• Survey the room to determine if you have these other essential classroom items:
o Operating instructions for the heating and cooling systems
o Keys to the door and any lockable cabinets
o Windows and blinds that are clean and in good repair
o Sufficient lighting
o Overhead projector and screen
o A desk and chair for the teacher
o Empty and usable file cabinets
o At least one pencil sharpener
o At least one trash container
o A computer for the teacher to use
o A classroom phone
o An intercom system
o An American flag on display
o A television monitor