Can I just say I loved this chapter which is all about your classroom environment.
How does your classroom make you feel? Is it conducive to learning or does it seem off a bit? What can you do to make your classroom all your own, but also involve students so that they can feel it is a safe and welcoming space. There are some steps that are outlined in the book to help you get started.
Many of us are lucky to have been in the same room for many years and we feel pretty comfortable with our spaces. However, some teachers are not so lucky. They may be placed in a classroom only a few days before school starts or even after. Classrooms may be filled with leftovers from the last teacher. Don't be afraid to get rid of it!! I know we all love to hoard those little things that we may someday use, but you need to just pack up anything you don't need and clear the space for what is important to you.
I've been in my classroom for over 10 years and I am always purging what I haven't used. If it hasn't been used in 3 years, I dump it or give it away. Once you have a clean slate it's easier to begin the next step. Debbie suggests stepping outside your classroom and looking in as if it was the first time.
Then answer these questions:
How soon do you head back to school to set up your classroom? I am guilty of going in 2-3 weeks in advance and arranging my classroom. I need to play around with the configurations and often I spend hours moving and rearranging to make it functional. Here is a list of guiding questions that Debbie suggests that can help you to get organized before you even set foot in your classroom.
So now you know what areas you want in your class, it's time to put it into action. Each year I head back in to my classroom and the furniture is piled up in the middle of the room.
From there I can get a good idea of where I want things to go and slowly start moving everything around. It's great to map it all out and get a general sense of where everything will be.
I have individual spaces all throughout my classroom.
I try to label everything I have and have done my best to make it functional. We can't always have our dream spaces, but we can do our best to make it as close to our visions as possible.
There is a section in the book that Debbie tells you to consider asking a colleague to come into your room and look around. Then ask them to think about these questions:
Feel free to answer any of these questions in the comments. I would love to know what you think.
How do you usually prepare for a new year? Has this chapter inspired you to reassess your classroom setup? Make sure to link up and share your thoughts on this chapter.