Hi there nervous, excited, but rested teachers! I thought I’d start with setting up your classroom. The more you have in your classroom out in view, the more cluttered it will appear. The more cluttered your classroom, the more stimulation there will be for your students. The more stimulated your students, the more active they will be. The more active they will be, the louder, less focused, and less ready they will be to learn from you and each other. So keep this in mind when setting up your classroom. I know it is tempting to put out all the bells and whistles to try to impress ‘others’ (ie fellow teachers, administrators, parents etc.) but DON’T.
Years ago, I remember walking into a fellow teacher’s classroom for the first time and I was completely overwhelmed with stimulation. Every nook and cranny, table, corner, cupboard, shelf, desk had something on it, in it, under it, beside it. I had to force myself to keep my eyes on her during our conversation. It was incredibly difficult and took every ounce of concentration I had. I felt profoundly sorry for her little primary aged students. I had to ask myself, how could they possibly spend a whole day in this classroom without feeling completely exhausted by the end of the day.
You want to create a sense of calm when anyone enters your room. People will actually feel it when they enter your room. This sense of calm will help you in every aspect of your day when trying to keep a classroom of little people and yourself organized for the whole day. So….. keep it simple!