Teachers know better than most the importance of budgeting. Educators, as a rule, don’t make a particularly large amount of money, and the decision to personalize, or not personalize, their classroom is typically a personal decision. Of course, a well-organized, interesting, and unique classroom is conducive to learning, so a lot of work goes into making a great classroom.
With limitations on funds, space, and what you can actually find the time to accomplish, some teachers are very nearly at their wit’s end come September. Nevertheless, from organizing books and signs to finding creative ways to use classroom chairs, teachers rise to the challenge every year. This list will hopefully provide a few resources educators can use to bring a personal touch to the room in which they will impart knowledge to the next generation.
Organization and storage
Classrooms are always a little heavy on class size and a little light on room. Teachers have used everything from storage desks to cubbies to give themselves and students a little breathing room, but there is just never quite enough space. Here are a few slick tricks to maximize space:
Magnetized Can Cups – Hang a cookie sheet or something similar on your wall. Then, to that, affix soup cans (labels and sharp edges removed, of course) to organize pens, pencils, markers, glue sticks, and anything else that can fit. They’re easy to label, and they make for a heck of an easy cleanup. Best of all, they take up no valuable floor space.
Frosting Border Rolls – frosting containers , and some nut containers, are perfectly sized to roll up your borders between school years and seasons, and keep them safe and sound when not in use.
Not Just Chairs – classroom chairs are ubiquitous – they’re the one thing you can count on both having and needing. So when you’re done figuring out how many more you’ve got to find or buy, go out and grab some simple canvas aprons and tie them to the chairs for storage of classroom materials. Not only does this limit student movement during crafts and projects (thereby increasing learning time), but it can be a fun project for your students to decorate.
Baby Wipe Card Containers – Playing cards, Uno cards, flash cards: they come in pretty flimsy cardboard containers. Repurpose some old baby wipe containers, clean them out, affix the logo to the outside, and voila! Durable storage.
Entertainment Centers: Reborn – remember the old boxy wooden things TVs were placed in before the advent of the flat screen? They can be had at thrift stores or bargain websites for a song, and with a little paint and a tension rod, they can be used as simple storage for nearly anything. For instance, you can paint each interior shelf a different color as a way to organize, say, the classroom library.
Since teachers don’t make a fortune, every penny counts, and ideas like this enable you to bring a unique level of fun and creativity to the classroom.
About the Author:
By Clara McBarnes, a grade school teacher starting to come up with ideas for September!