The countdown to summer break has already begun. The last days of the school year are synonymous with exhaustion for every schoolteacher. You are constantly marking papers, grading them, and trying to meet up with deadlines. But don’t forget you also have to clean and organize your classroom.
We know you can’t wait for the break to start so you can hit the sack and recharge. Considering your exhaustion, you might be tempted to do the bare minimum, but it’s better to bite the bullet and do the work. Your ‘post-summer’ self will thank you for that, and you can fully enjoy your summer break, knowing that you already have everything under control.
How can you organize your classroom as a teacher? Here are five tips that will help you.
Now is the best time to take some inventory. It’s the end of one chapter and the road to a new one, so you must take stock of everything you have in your classroom. You should start at least a week before the last day of school.
Write a list of things that are no longer available and must be restocked. Also, include damaged items that need to be changed. You should also take note of things you still have on hand which will be helpful in the next school year as well as outdated things and items that need to be given away or discarded.
This list needs to be as comprehensive and easy to follow as possible. It will make your job way easier.
You need to declutter. This is a very vital part of organizing your classroom. There are so many things you probably don’t need anymore that are taking up much-needed space. Decluttering is essential as it creates a more aesthetic environment and gives you more room to breathe and be creative.
Using your inventory list, throw away or donate the things that are either outdated, damaged, or you simply don’t need. You have to be brutal when you declutter. You might be reluctant to let go of some items. In such a situation, give said item away. This way, you can borrow it if you need it. But you most likely won’t.
With the unnecessary things gone, you have more room to organize. Over the school year, several items might have made it to undesignated areas, so your classroom storage area should be cleaned. Now is the time to put a handle on it. Everything should have its place. Similar items should be put together so that they can be easily accessed. Make sure to use labeled bins for easy storage. Sharp or harmful objects should be kept together in a separate compartment at the top of the drawer. The same goes for fragile items.
The classroom library isn’t to be left out in all of this. To organize a classroom library, you need a system that works. Arrange the books by subjects, and ensure to label each book bin. Also, take inventory of all the books you have so that you can keep track of them and create a borrowing system ahead of the new school year.
Alongside labeling, color coding will also make the storage process fun and easy to get the hang of. It will ensure everyone knows where everything is so things can be easily accessed and returned.
A professional cleaning service typically tidies the classrooms during the break but can only do so much. It is vital that you clean and organize your classroom yourself because you’ll most likely remember the easy-to-miss spots like posters and extracurricular supplies.
The storage bins need to be cleaned out as they would have gotten dirty. Clean and sanitize any toys, teaching aids, maps, or any other objects. Those are high-touch surfaces that could be overlooked. The drawers, cabinets, and shelves also need to be cleaned out. Wipe down every surface and sanitize frequented areas. Try your possible best to pay attention to detail.
It’s good to switch things up every once in a while, as it helps keep things exciting and would also stimulate your students. Study your classroom layout and take note of possible areas of improvement. Do you need to move your table from the edge of the class to the center for better visuals? Note that while rearranging the layout, you must keep things as functional as possible, maximizing floor space without sacrificing aesthetic appeal.
Create designated areas or stations. This is important, especially if you want to know how to organize your classroom to maximize learning. There should be an area for the storage of different items. There should be an art station, reading station, equipment station, and charging station. There should also be areas to leave backpacks, hand-in assignments, pick up necessary class materials, etc.
Using labels and signs such as “Hand in your assignments here” would be handy. This way, every student or pupil knows what to do at every point.
Roll up all your calendars, maps, and charts and store them in an old laundry basket or a clean bin. This is so that the scorching summer sun doesn’t cause them to start fading. Clear your desk and put personal items in a labeled container. You can either take this home or duct tape it and leave it in the classroom.
If another teacher will use your classroom during the summer, seal and duct tape any bin you don’t want to be tampered with, as this will deter borrowing. Also, remove any fragile or expensive items so they aren’t damaged.
Sometimes, the cleaning crew could empty several classrooms simultaneously to facilitate their job. The tables and chairs could get mixed up and your beautiful new class arrangement ruined. To prevent this, label each piece of furniture, and map out your class arrangement on the whiteboard or cardboard. Also, take pictures if you can.
The copy room is most likely empty at the moment. Use it now to make the copies you’ll need in the new school year, as it will be jam-packed once summer break is over.
Now why is classroom organization important before the summer break? The answer is simple. While other teachers are left scrambling in the first week of the new school year, you can relax. You will also enjoy your summer break a lot more if you know that you have everything under control.
You can always ask your students for help with any of the demanding tasks. Turn it into a learning experience on teamwork. That way, you get to teach and get your pre-summer classroom prep done.
Now, we might not be able to help you organize, but at Clean Tu Casa, we consider teachers to be heroes, and we offer a $15 discount every time you book our home cleaning service in Atlanta. Take care of your classroom while we take care of your home.