Location. Location. Location. It’s just as important in the middle school classroom as it is in the real estate market. Everything has its place in the classroom but issues like large class sizes, short class periods, and everyday interruptions can create chaos unless things are in check. Classroom organization might seem monumental when new teachers begin to set up their classrooms or when veteran teachers find themselves in new classrooms. But in reality, it’s simply deciding what goes where.
Of course, middle school teachers teach a variety of subjects in a variety of settings. Teachers should not worry about the right way or wrong way when organizing their rooms; they should focus on making their way work. Teachers can consider the following 20 questions as they get themselves, and their students, organized for another school year.
- do students turn in homework?
- do students turn in late work?
- can students get their absent work?
- can students get extra copies of assignments and forms they lost, forgot, or didn’t complete?
- can students find daily announcements?
- can parents read important announcements?
- is the daily homework listed?
- are passes to the office kept?
- are passes to the nurse kept?
- are passes to the counselor kept?
- are passes for the hallway, lockers, and library kept?
- are my seating charts located?
- are my substitute teacher plans located?
- are my lesson plans located?
- are shared supplies stored?
- are my supplies stored?
- should students keep their supplies while in the classroom?
- is emergency exit information found?
- is a list of important names, room numbers, and phone numbers?
- are the rules, consequences, rewards, policies, and/or procedures posted for students to see?
Teachers must remember that students respond to routines and consistency. They should keep it simple to keep kids (and themselves) sane. Establish where everything goes early on in the year, stick to what works, and change what doesn’t. Location can really be the key to selling kids on a classroom and experiencing success throughout the year.