As a new teacher, you’ll face challenges at every turn. This guide will give you some practical advice on how to start out successfully.
You’ll need to prepare yourself mentally before starting your teaching career.
Get ready to deal with challenging situations and manage your time effectively.
Learn about the school culture and the expectations of your colleagues. And finally, learn how to motivate your students.
Once you are finally able to get a position in a school, you may be panicking about how to set up your classroom.
After all, the classroom setup has a huge impact on how the children you are teaching respond to you.
Well, stop worrying because we are going to walk you through setting up your classroom.
This guide will talk you through the simple steps for successfully setting up a classroom.
Step One: Start At Home
The key to successfully setting up your classroom is to start by being prepared at home.
Before you even think about moving into the school, make sure that you have everything you need.
It’s important to know what you need to do before you actually move into the school.
You should also consider having a few things ready beforehand.
For example, if you plan to write on the whiteboard make sure you have the supplies you need such as whiteboard markers.
We suggest making a checklist and getting everything on that checklist to your house.
Then you can organize it at home so when you do go to school, you know you have everything you need.
At home, you can organize all of your supplies into boxes. We suggest labeling them clearly so you don’t forget anything.
This means that on the first day of school in your classroom you won’t be overwhelmed by moving in.
Starting at home can help to make sure you have the time to plan, which helps make the first day less stressful.
Step Two: Make Your Classroom Shine
This isn’t the most exciting part of setting up your classroom but it is one of the most important parts.
Cleaning your classroom from top to bottom will make a big difference. When you arrive at school, clean your room thoroughly.
If there is any dust or dirt, wipe it off immediately. Don’t wait until after class to clean your room.
The last thing you want is to start teaching in a dirty room.
If you’re lucky enough to have a janitorial service cleaning your room regularly, then great! However, if not, just take care of it yourself.
Cleaning your classroom ensures that when you place your own materials in the room, you know they will be clean and sanitized for the children.
Step Three: Plan The Classroom
Now that your classroom is nice and clean, it is time to work on your classroom layout.
In this step, you will decide where you would like to put each piece of equipment but also start to design where the children are going to sit.
This is your chance to create a specific atmosphere in your classroom.
You could join desks together to make the classroom environment one where group work is encouraged.
However, you could choose to separate the desk so two children sit together.
When deciding on how you want the desks to be positioned in the classroom, it is a good idea to keep in mind how you would like the children to work.
You also need to think about where your desk is going to be. This might sound obvious, especially since most desks are situated at the front.
However, it is good to think about making sure your desk is visible to the children and that they have easy access to you at your desk from where they are seated.
Think about where you are going to place your classroom library. Do you want it near the door?
This way children can grab a book on their way out. Or maybe you want it right next to your desk?
This would help you to see what the children are taking an interest in. Think about these questions and more when planning out your classroom.
Step Four: Start With The Cabinets
Now that you are ready to move things into your classroom, the best place to start is with the cabinets.
Putting your items in the cabinets first, allows you to store away any clutter that doesn’t need to be out in the open.
The biggest piece of advice we can give you about organizing your cabinets is to get a lot of baskets and plastic boxes.
Instead of throwing the items into the cabinets, organize them into plastic boxes.
We also recommend labeling every box so the children know in which box they can find what they are looking for.
For example, if you are going to have mini-whiteboards for the children to use in some lessons, then storing all of those in a specific basket will make things easier when you need to use them.
Have cabinets that are specifically for certain items. For example, have a cabinet that is for stationary.
This way if the children need some, they don’t have to waste time searching. You could have a cabinet that is for games only.
It is important to start with this step because once you start the school year, it will become progressively harder to find time to organize your cabinets.
Step Five: Fill The Inside Of Your Classroom
You are almost done with the boring part of setting up your classroom, all you have to do now is sort out the inside.
This means sorting out your shelves, the inside of your desk, and even the children’s desks with pen pots in the middle of them.
When thinking about where to put your shelves, remember to consider what you would like the children’s attention to be focused on.
If you want them to focus on reading books or writing, then putting the bookshelves close to the windows would be ideal.
On the other hand, if you want them to focus more on math, then placing the math workout sheets somewhere the children can reach would be a good idea.
Step Six: Time To Decorate
This last step should not take too long. It is just a matter of decorating your room with whatever you feel like.
This includes adding pictures to the walls and hanging posters around the room.
If you are feeling adventurous, you can add a few decorations to the ceiling. These include balloons, streamers, and flags.
However, you should avoid anything that may fall down on the children.
You want to make your classroom decorations fun for the children but not so they completely distract the children.
It might be a good idea to have interactive decorations. For example, you could have a tricky word tree.
Remember that the most important thing is to keep everything organized!
Top Tips For Organizing The Classroom
Now that you know the steps you should take in order to organize your classroom, let us look at some tips that make organizing your classroom a little easier.
Go Look At Other Teachers Classrooms
The best place to start is by visiting other teachers’ classrooms.
By visiting other teachers’ classrooms you will be able to understand how the school you are at works.
More experienced teachers can also give you tips on what to include in your classroom which will be more specific to the children you are going to teach.
As well as being a fantastic idea to get some more ideas for your classroom, this will also help you to become familiar with your colleagues.
There is nothing quite like bonding over decorating your classroom in a fun and exciting way.
Although, don’t completely copy their classroom, just pinch a few ideas from them.
Make Use Out Of Posters Or Bulletin Boards
Posters and bulletin boards are supposed to be used to help with the children’s learning.
It can be very tempting to copy a cool bulletin board or poster that you saw on Pinterest.
However, make sure the posters and bulletin boards you choose have purpose. Make the posters relevant to what you are teaching the children.
Also, introduce the children to the posters and bulletin boards. This way you are actively using what you spent time working on.
The posters in your classroom are only going to be good for the children’s learning if you actually use them.
Figure Out Your Entrance And Exit
This might seem like an easy task, but when you have 20 plus children trying to leave the classroom at the same time, it can be stressful.
This is why it is a great idea to make sure that you have prepared your entrance and exit strategy when setting up the classroom.
Simple things such as not having clutter near the doorway or having the desks too close to the door can help you to be successful.
You can also make this time a little easier for you by having a drop-off station.
This is a place where children can hand their work in, and give back any equipment so they do not block the exit when doing so.
Work With The Technology
When you are setting up your classroom, don’t ignore the technology.
If your classroom has an interactive smartboard, then it would be a good idea to test the technology out when you are setting up your classroom.
You should keep in mind times when you need to use a projector in the classroom.
This will help with setting up the layout of the classroom so you don’t have to move everything around to use it.
Think About The Space
As teachers, there are times when the classroom can feel so small.
Especially on days when you need space for the students to take part in interactive work.
Before setting up your classroom, think about the space you will need regularly.
For example, don’t have desks too close to the whiteboard, blackboard, or smartboard.
You will probably spend a lot of time using these boards so it is important that you have enough space to move around at the front.
Try to think about the spaces between the students’ desks.
There is a high chance that you will frequently be moving between desks, so you want to make sure there is a comfortable space between them.
This will also help to minimize accidents and keep in mind fire safety regulations.
Don’t Have Too Much Clutter
Classroom clutter is something that distracts children.
There have been studies on the impact of clutter in classrooms on a child’s ability to learn.
Though you don’t want your classroom to look bare, we recommend having strategic clutter in your classroom.
This means that everything in the classroom is useful to you or the children in some way.
For example, having a specific station where the children can put their work would help with clutter. The same applies to their belongings.
If you have an area designated for the personal belongings of the children, they are less likely to become distracted by it.
Change Things Up
As the year goes on, you may find that some things in your classroom setup are not working.
Don’t be afraid to change the way your classroom is set up. It is a good idea to keep your classroom posters up to date.
This means changing them out with something that becomes more relevant.
Setting up your classroom is something that can be a very fun task if done correctly.
It is important to remember that the first few weeks of school are crucial to getting your class off to a good start.
So, try to prepare yourself before you begin teaching.
Make sure you have done all the necessary tasks like preparing your entrance and exit procedures, making sure your classroom is safe and ensuring you have adequate supplies.
hese steps will ensure that you get off to a great start with your new job. We hope this guide was helpful!
Please share this guide with any friends who are starting a career as a teacher. Thank you for reading!