Tips for an Organized and Well Managed School Space
There’s no time like the New Year for a fresh start!
Whether you are a naturally organized person or not, being organized can make or break your time in the classroom! We all want our classrooms to be a comfortable place for both ourselves and our students. A place where everyone can learn, grow, and enjoy time together. The challenge is that we are often so busy with things to do, that it’s hard to feel organized or find the time to give our classrooms an organizational overhaul. In order to make organization feel attainable, start small and then work on bigger areas of your classroom as you go. Every little bit makes a difference. Try to accomplish one task each day, and in a week or so, you should have your classroom in tip-top shape.
If you are ready to start the New Year off right, and kick your organization into high gear, try some of these simple tips and strategies today.
Start with your work space
Dedicate a space in your classroom to you. And important forms and phone numbers, lessons plans, and parent sign in and sign out sheets should be located in your teacher area. Keep a dedicated bin of teacher supplies in your work space as well so you always know where to get tape, a stapler, post-its, pencils, or pens.
Jars, bins, and baskets are your friends
Assign everything in your classroom a home. Craft supplies, toys, manipulatives, outdoor supplies, etc. Make sure everything has a specific place to be so there are no questions as to where something goes when it is time to clean up.
Labels are also you friends
Label bins, baskets, cabinets, and drawers with words and/or pictures so students can easily see where to put things and help keep the classroom neat and organized.
Make a substitute teacher folder or bin
Include your daily schedule, notes as to where necessary items can be found, any important student information, and a few easy activities or worksheets that a substitute can complete without any prep work. This will make life less stressful for everyone involved!
Plan at least a full week ahead of time
It never feels good to scramble and prepare an activity last minute. Get yourself in a habit of planning at least one full week ahead of time, preferably two. You can always make a change if needed, but at least you know you have an ample supply of activities ready to go.
Write your schedule on the board
Write down your daily schedule so students can see without question what their day is going to look like.
Make it a team effort, and have students help you remove clutter, dried up markers, broken pencils, broken pieces from games and toys etc. This will help you start the New Year feeling fresh and clean.
Which in a classroom is pretty much impossible – but make it a habit to wipe down surfaces each day.
Student by-in “our classroom should be….”
Have students create a list of what your classroom should look like. Have everyone sign the list.
Not too bad right? Simple changes can make a huge impact, and there is no better time than now to start getting yourself organized!