It’s the school holidays soon so it’s time to get organised for school before the end of the year. As we all know an organised environment is the easiest environment to work in and get work done. Here are five ways to get organised before the school year ends.
I’m not talking about your reflection in the mirror, nice though it might be. Let’s think back for a moment and reflect on what actually worked this year and didn’t?
Are there heaps of cobwebbed resources scattered around your classroom? File them, as an old teacher told me once, in the bin! Were there some great resources that were used over and over? These need to be filed if they aren’t already, so you can get to them another year.
How about the seating arrangements – did they work? Again, make a note if you haven’t already. I keep notes on my iPad in my digital planner.
Now when you’re getting on a bit like me you don’t want to have to get everything out. Or you just might not have enough time to pull everything out.
My solution is to photograph everything with my iPhone. Then I mark each item with an X that’s to go and ask my kids to lift it and dump it in hours.
Don’t waste your students school time either. Time it for when you’re working in groups and make one group activity tidying up. If, you have five groups, set one set of photograph instructions for each group and five areas are tidied by the end of the day.
It’s much quicker than doing it by yourself, over days or weeks. Students learn organising skills and keep up with all their work. If the kids have finished school then its your hubby, your wife or/and a friend that you’ll have to call on to help get organised for school.
Photos make it super easy to share the organising. When you have something the way you want it, remember to photograph it before it gets messy again. That way a student or friend can follow the photograph to get it all neat and tidy again.
Are there heaps of cobwebbed resources scattered around your classroom? File them, as an old teacher told me once, in the bin! It’s the most wonderful feeling once you get rid of all that historic mess. I’ve done it almost at every school I’ve taught at.
Get organised for school and throw out old resources like I did, or give them away, if someone actually can use them let them. You don’t need all that mess taking up space in your mind. I certainly can’t.
If you can’t bear to throw it out, then find an organisation to give it to.
Don’t use it – lose it. If it’s really useless don’t make another teacher’s life a misery by loading them up with your unwanted trash.
Now, it’s time to splash out for some nice containers or make your own. Remember if it’s nice to look at you and your kids will enjoy the atmosphere you create. Don’t overdo it though. Keep it neat and not over taxing for the kids.
I like to make special areas for art, tech and reading, so that groups of students can go and work in those areas. I make sure all the materials that are needed are ready in each area of the classroom.
To keep these areas organised by the students, Label with photos where possible. It’s easier for students to look at a photo of what the area should look like than reading a long list of instructions.
I have a classroom library and I use photos to keep that organised too. If you have a student with special needs then your classroom organisation needs to be super organised.
Don’t wait till the holidays and spoil it. You need to rejuvenate in the long school break; And certainly don’t leave it till the first day back to school to get organised for school. It won’t work unless you’re super lucky.
I saved the best till last. I love decorating my classroom to make my students feel relaxed and want to be there.
A bean bag area is an immediate draw to the classroom environment. Students love the feeling of freedom they evoke. Reading a book is much more enjoyable lounging on a bean bag.
Plants make the easiest and most effective decor. Students get a job looking after the class plants and beanbags so its easy to keep organised. It makes the air feel healthy. They look beautiful and your students can learn a ton from those plants.
I also like to add a fish tank – there’s another real life job for a student. One of my kids just begged for the fish tank cleaning job. He would write about that more than anything else even though he hated writing.
Make the organising, work for you and your kids learning.
A professional teacher creates an organised atmosphere where students can engage in learning. Try out our quiz: What’s your classroom organisation model? to see how organised you really are.
Remember, a teacher who does not have organisational systems in place for simple things like pencil sharpening, a home for each resource that students can tidy themselves, will find it difficult to get their students to achieve to their full potential – Melissa Kelly, March 2020, ThoughtCo.
Also, being organised throughout the year will make the end of the year simple to organise and clean up. It really is simple and easy to get organised for school, if you make the effort to follow the 5 steps above.