This school year is our first in our brand new building, meaning that everyone on the teaching staff set up their rooms all over again. I remember one teacher in particular, who sat in her room for hours, mulling over potential set-ups, “listening to the space” to determine how to most effectively organize her room. It was because of her example that I took a step back to think deeply about my own classroom set-up.
There’s something very personal about setting up a classroom. It’s one of the first impressions you give to your students, and it has a major influence on the development of classroom culture and the day-to-day flow of each class.
To me, having an effectively organized classroom means utilizing the space in a way that feels intuitive to students and myself. It should make students feel comfortable and make them feel like part of a classroom community. It should allow students to move fluidly through the classroom to avoid wasted time. It should make student resources readily available and easily obtainable.
Classroom layout and organization is one of those aspects of being a teacher that requires A LOT of trial and error. What works for me might not work for the teacher down the hall. What works for 3rd Graders might not work for 10th Graders. In my first year of teaching, I took a shot at classroom organization and learned what did and didn’t work with that set-up. In this second year, especially with the “blank slate” of a brand new, never-before-used classroom, I was able to really consider the purpose of my classroom and how I could arrange it in a meaningful way. Let me know what you think!: