Hi there! Wow, this is a really scary time of year for teachers. You get this sinking feeling in your gut as each day ticks by, drawing closer and closer to……. Day 1.
Everyone is thinking about getting into their classroom and setting up. It is something you want to do, but don’t want to do all at the same time.
When you do actually go in, it is terrifying because you are admitting that summer holidays are actually coming to a screeching halt very quickly. Well, you can only put that day off for so long, so just go and do it!
Hopefully, you have read my earlier blog about keeping it simple as you set up your classroom.
As you physically start placing desks and chairs, tables, activity centers etc. be sure to think about traffic flow throughout the classroom.
You want to be sure to again, keep it simple and organized so students have a smooth easy access to all areas of the classroom. For example. If you have a group meeting area, make sure all students can get there quickly and easily without having to dodge around cumbersome furniture.
The way in which your students enter the classroom is also important. Ensure that the entry area is open and welcoming and that students can easily flow into their seating area easily.
I’ve seen classrooms where students need to start zigzagging around desks and other obstacles as soon as they enter the classroom. This will instantly create tension and frustration at the very start of the day. Not a good way to start the day. This open and inviting entry way will help to set the tone of calm.
When arranging student desks. ensure students have enough room behind them to move their chair in and out without bumping the desk behind them. You also want to ensure there is room for yourself or your students to move freely behind their desk and chair area. Think about how annoying it is to have people walk by and bump your chair in a restaurant, staff room etc. Everyone wants to feel they have their own personal space that is safe from intrusion.
Well, that’s it for now folks! Good luck and hopefully I’ve given you some food for thought as you set up your classroom. Talk to you soon!