Organize your Classroom: 7 Storage Solutions for Teachers
Before school started, most teachers spent time getting their classrooms ready and organized for the school year. The room looked great, decorations were up and everything was in its place. On the first day of class, chaos entered. If systems weren’t set up, everything that was in place could get turned upside down quickly. An organized classroom is not only a great environment to learn in, it’s the optimal example for students to follow. They learn that when things are in their proper place–everyone benefits. Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to keeping your classroom organized:
Everything needs a place to belong: Every item in your room should have it’s place. Once your students get to know where things go, they can follow the systems you’ve set up. Good storage pieces are the key to having good systems and maintaining them. If you have many little parts, shelving with bins are a great solution.
You can only fit so much: You can’t fit 10lbs. of potatoes into a 5lb. bag–they just won’t fit. It’s the same with any container–don’t over-stuff. If you want students to be able to put things away, make it easy for them to get in and out quickly.
Clear your desk: Remember, your desk is a work surface, not a storage area. You will set a good example for your students if you keep your desk clear of excess clutter. Make use of drawer organizers for pens, pencils and other office supplies rather than holders out on the desk.
Maximize your storage space: Make use of every inch of space in your classroom. That doesn’t mean store everything you may ever need in there, it means allocate all the space for something. Creating centers for different activities, and storing like things together will get you on your way. Take advantage of wall space with tall bookshelves.
Make it easy to maintain: Labeling shelving and containers, even taking the top off of frequently used bins will make it that much easier to get things back in place quickly. Color coordinating can also improve efficiency.
Make it a team effort: Involve your students in the clean up process. Make it easy for them to get things put away. Consider taking a photo of how the space should look when it’s organized properly and place the photo nearby. This way students will be able to see how it should look when they get everything into the proper place.
Simplify: You may be keeping classroom items and teaching tools that you’re not using. If you haven’t used it in the last school year, chances are you won’t use it this year. Consider donating what is not in use, there are plenty of schools out there that might benefit from extras that you’re holding on to. If you keep too much, you won’t be able to find what’s important. Consider paring down on what you have and only keeping what’s necessary in your classroom.
Getting organized at the start of the school year will help keep the chaos out of the classroom and allow for optimal learning all year long.