April 10, 2023 3 min read
As a teacher, starting the school year with an organized classroom is crucial. However, as the year progresses, it's easy to feel overwhelmed with clutter. Fortunately, fall is a great time to reevaluate and reset your classroom organization. Here are some tips to help you declutter your classroom and create a more organized space.
Start by envisioning your ideal classroom and workspace. How would you like to feel when you walk into your room or sit at your desk? What are the points of stress in your current classroom setup? How would changing those things improve your workday and your students' experience in your classroom? Having a clear vision will keep you motivated and help you make more intentional decisions as you declutter.
Organizing by category is a useful approach to help you declutter your classroom. Here are some tips for each category:
Keep as many books as you and your students need, but be honest about what you actually use. If you haven't touched a book in years, it may be time to let it go. Consider donating books that are still in good condition to your school's library or local community center.
Create "In" and "Out" baskets for student work. Consider splitting student papers into more categories such as different subjects, different periods, and different types of assignments. For your own papers, create separate "Yes," "Maybe," and "No" piles. Try to digitize as many papers as possible to reduce clutter and save physical space.
Your goal in sorting through supplies is to keep only those that will be truly useful to you and your students. Once you've found your keepers, organize them in a way that allows you to easily see and reach everything that you have. Consider purchasing classroom packs of supplies to save money and keep your supplies organized.
Try to keep the surface of your desk as clear as possible and keep your desk drawers reserved for items you use regularly throughout the day. If possible, have another space devoted to extra supplies, and keep your students' paper baskets in another part of the room. Having a clutter-free desk is essential for teachers. It leaves you feeling focused and centered, not even more scattered than before.
At the end of each week, reset your room and at the end of each day, reset your personal workspace. If returning each item to its place at the end of each day seems unrealistic, take a second to have gratitude for your room as a whole as you leave each day. It can help create a positive and productive atmosphere for you and your students.
There are many digital tools that can help you stay organized and reduce clutter in your classroom. For example, you can use digital calendars and to-do lists to keep track of your schedule and tasks. You can also use online resources for lesson planning and curriculum development, which can help you save time and reduce the need for paper copies. Learning Headphones provides USB headphones and school headsets, which can be a great addition to a technology-driven classroom.
Involving your students in the organization process can help them take ownership of their learning environment and develop important life skills. Consider assigning classroom jobs, such as cleaning and organizing, and make sure to model the behavior you expect from them. Encourage them to keep their own
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