As summer is knocking on the door, teachers and students alike get excited about the holidays. Thoughts tend to wander off to sunny beaches, picnics in the park, and general serenity. However, there is one important thing you as a teacher can do before the holiday season begins; prepare your classroom for the coming term.
It might be the last thing on your mind, but you will thank yourself for it later. Whether you are a primary school teacher, a college tutor or a nursery teacher, the classroom atmosphere facilitate your success in a very big way. There are many tidbits and larger-scale ideas you can pursue to improve your classroom and education supplies and school furniture in ways that enhance the learning process.
Why improve now?
This is the first pressing question, and it has multiple good answers. You cannot update your classroom supplies and ambiance on your own – you need your school’s support in every step of the way; approving, ordering, accepting, and processing the shipments you require for your project. As summer is blossoming, you are not the only person thinking about going out of town for a while. It is better to move forward with your improvements now while you can still get all the administrative and technical support of your institution. Chances are they will also be happy to see initiative from you, and they will also feel good about taking care of business before going off on a deserved holiday. Another potential problem you might face is the limited school budget, so the sooner you apply, the higher the probability there will be money left to fund your project.
What can you improve?
As a teacher with an individual teaching style, you will know what aspects of your classroom environment would benefit from improvement, repainting is a straightforward and effective change. There is a good deal of psychology out there behind room colours and you can influence your students’ mood and liveliness with a tasteful and calculated paint job. Choose red or yellow to bring happiness and energy into the classroom, or pick green to soothe and pacify a hyperactive class while still giving off a sense of togetherness.
Another avenue you can improve upon is classroom supplies. Replace the blackboard and chalk with a modern whiteboard and colourful markers. If this is not an option for budgetary or administrative reasons, invest in a bigger variety of chalk and better cleaning utensils. Think about options for multimedia and interactive presentation as well – overhead and LCD projectors are getting cheaper all the time, and each can add a different touch to your daily lectures and classroom activities, allowing for new ways to engage with your students. Other educational supplies you might want to stock up on include new books and study aids, science games for the younger pupils or in-class reference books for the older children, and just about any other resource that is relevant to your teaching and within reach, and budget.
Perhaps a bigger investment that might be necessary is school furniture. With growing class sizes and increasing awareness of the health implications of student desks and chairs, now is a good time to update your classroom furniture, allowing for optimal space usage as well as caring for your students’ health and wellbeing. Furniture for Schools is a good online resource where you can start your search and get some ideas.
Last but definitely not least, do not forget to enjoy improving your workplace!
About the Author:
Ted Freedman is former primary school teacher with over 20 years of experience of teaching geography and sciences.