Teachers spend a LOT of time in their classroom – they are places where we work, learn, play, make friends, and so much more. So we need that space to really work for us, and that means getting it organised. There are a lot of tasks we do multiple times every single day, like handing out worksheets or getting scissors and glue, and if there aren’t managed well then they can easily be little annoyances. And little annoyances that happen every day can quickly become BIG annoyances! So here are our tips for organising your classroom for flow and function, using our classroom display packs.
Create a Teacher Toolbox
We are big fans of the teacher toolbox here at TPTC, so we’ve created the perfect sized labels so you can create your own. So – what is a teacher toolbox? It’s a one-stop-shop for all your teacher bits and bobs, to keep all the little bits neat and tidy. You can buy sets of small drawers to sit on your desk, and fill them with paperclips, staples, elastic bands, and all the other little things you’ll need. All of our classroom display packs have editable teacher toolbox labels in our vibrant designs, so you can create the label you need for your kit and make them match the rest of your classroom design.
Organise Table Supplies
Students need a lot of things – actual, physical things – and it can be tricky to manage these. Pens, pencils, rubbers, sharpeners, scissors, glue, coloured pens, whiteboards…the list goes on. A great way to organise these is to have a set of supplies for each table. There are loads of options for table caddies out there, so find one that suits the supplies you’ll be using; make sure it can fit everything without being way too big and taking up unnecessary space. Include labels that not only say what goes into the caddy, but how many there should be. If your classroom is filled with tables of 4, have the caddy labels say that it should have 4 pencils, 1 rubber, 4 whiteboards, etc. When it’s time to tidy up, teach your students that making sure they have filled their table’s caddy is part of their responsibility to the classroom.
Utilise Tolsby Frames
This is a great IKEA hack for teachers! A Tolsby frame is a small picture frame on a stand that is perfect for classroom tables. You can use it to display key information, like reminders to use capital letters and full stops, an alphabet or number line, or golden rules. You could also put rings across the top of the frame to add multiple different reference cards that children can flip through (like Teach Starter shows here), so you could have a multiplication table available for maths, and then some key topic words to help students with spellings in your history lesson. Providing easy-to-access reference sheets is a great way to teach children to work independently, knowing where they need to look to help them find the support they need. Our classroom display packs have borders the right size for Tolsby frames, so you can create your own displays that match your classroom design!
Weekly Work Drawers
As teachers, we have to keep on top of a lot of paperwork. Not just forms and record sheets, but lots and lots of worksheets. To manage this and to get organised for the week ahead, try organising each day’s worksheets into a set of drawers. There are lots of smaller sets of drawers that are the perfect size for holding A4 paper. Try to find a set with at least 5 drawers – if it has more, you could use the spare drawers for other paperwork. Label the drawers Monday through Friday, then to prepare for the week ahead you can print out all the worksheets you’ll need for each day, and pop it in the right drawer. This is especially handy for if you may be out of the classroom for a meeting or an illness, as someone else can easily find what they need. Do it in whatever way works for you – you might just want an original copy of each sheet you’ll need for each day, and every morning you can take the originals and photocopy however many you’ll need. Or you could get all the printing done in one go, paperclip each group of sheets together, and put them in the daily drawer.
When you’re a teacher, you have a lot on your plate, and a lot to remember. Labelling everything in your classroom can be a bit of a time commitment at first, but in the long run, it will make your daily life so much easier. If you have different folders or magazine files for different subjects, different drawers for different resources, even different cupboards for bigger items – label it! The less time you have to spend looking for the things you need, the better, so our classroom display packs come with all kinds of different labels in fun designs, which you can edit and print. Having labelled resources also means that your students know where they can find things too, which could cut down on the number of times a day you get asked where the sharpeners are, saving you time (and sanity!).