Classrooms are a place where imagination and education flourish. But, with so much going on, sometimes your organisation systems can get neglected. Gary Lyons, Managing Director of Plastic Box Shop, shares his ideas for maximising the efficiency of your classroom through inventive storage solutions. Sharing the organisation tips proven to help in a classroom.
It can be tough finding homes for all the games, textbooks, teaching aides, and other resources that we keep in our classrooms. That’s not to mention lesson plans, handouts, permission slips, as well as various admin forms and other bits of paperwork that take up space but are too important to throw out.
You’re usually too busy during the day to really think about where everything is supposed to go. And, even if you do manage to keep on top of things, the unpredictable nature of your work means it could all get messed up again at the drop of a hat. So, I’ve put together this guide to classroom organisation to help things run a bit more smoothly. It should help to keep the important stuff safe, as well as save you time.
Top organisation tips for your classroom
Tidy your desk
Keeping a tidy desk feels nice and it sets a good example for neatness in your classroom. Aim to keep stationery in tubs or boxes rather than hidden away in draws: you’ll be able to see where everything is at a glance, which will save you time during lessons, and labelling the containers will make things even easier if you tend to dump things on your desk. Just throw your pens, stapler, and holepunch into the container with the corresponding label, so that you know where to look when you need them next.
It’s a good idea to have a designated ‘daily’ tray on your desk where you can place all the paperwork you have accumulated during the course of the day, a bit like a post box. This way you can keep everything in place until just before you leave, when you can sort the papers into their proper homes.
Streamline your filing system
Filing systems are the best way to store and manage your paperwork long term. Your filing system will benefit from subdivisions based on urgency, so try to store things according to when they’re needed for. If you have a filing cabinet, keep the top drawer free for paperwork that needs addressing the soonest. Alternatively, colour code your storage boxes depending on when the deadline is, so you don’t lose track.
Beyond that, it’s just a case of finding what works for you: an alphabetical, numerical, or subject filing system. Whatever you choose, it’s a good idea to clearly label your storage solutions so you can keep tabs on what’s where. As an added bonus, substitute teachers and classroom assistants will be able to find things more easily, too.
Keep things safe
Compartmentalising your classroom items into storage boxes can be quite addictive once you get into the groove of it, but always make sure you’re storing things safely. Don’t stack too many boxes on top of each other as they’ll be more likely to tip over.
If your classroom has shelving, make sure you buy the right size containers to fit on the shelf with no overhang to minimise the risk of them falling off. If you will be keeping containers full of games or toys on the floor in your classroom, it’s best to go for round tubs without corners so students are less likely to injure themselves. And, as always, keep fire exits and escape routes free from mess and clutter.
The tips in this guide can help you strategize your classroom organisation and storage ready for next term. Focus on keeping a tidy desk, compartmentalising, and prioritising your paperwork to keep on top of everything.
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