I have been teaching for 20 years and there is a possibility that the school that I am in will be receiving a new-build. This is a VERY exciting prospect ...... until I look around my classroom and think to myself, "Wow! Look at all my stuff! How the heck would I even start to move all my items to a new building?"
(This in itself put me off going of on my second career break, as now, apparently, all items need to be removed from the classroom during the time that you are away!!!!! That for me would be a massive ordeal. Not worth taking on. I'm a stress-free teacher who no longer takes on drama. I'm happy going on my long holidays instead throughout the year. Career break on hold!)
Where was I? Oh yes - a teacher with lots of "stuff". I am the teacher who loves to create an environment that can constantly change and in doing so keeps every child interested and inspired. That involves collecting a lot of "stuff".
Looking around my room I thought it would be interesting to compile a list of classroom items that are my definite must-haves.
If I had to pick 4 items that would have to be in my new room - they would have to be the most useful items. Here are my top 4!
Number 1 baskets and tubs
Every teacher needs baskets, tubs and boxes. These hold all your clutter within the classroom. The baskets in my room holds my "Home reads" , library books, games for my group work and all the little items I mentioned in my previous blog for the guided reading area. My baskets are mainly from the pound shop, Home Bargains and Amazon and basically anywhere I have been that sells cute baskets including car-boots. Here is a link to the baskets you can get from Amazon. These guys are sttttttrrrrrrrooooooonnnnnngggggg and at a great price:
I particularly love the fabric baskets that you can buy in Home Bargains. You need to check these guys out! I purchase a variety of sizes and in different colours. A bright room is an interesting room. A room that children want to explore.
I also like these baskets from Amazon - these are great as the pupils can use the handles to carry the resources back to their desks.
Baskets and tubs will keep your items organised. But what about your paper work? Hence, my next item would have to be my personal filing system that works for me.
An organised teacher means less stress. Less stress equals a happy teacher. Remember - I don't do stress.
Number 2 : My filing system
You can use a filing cabinet or you could have the same as me - my must have empty box. I simply took a sturdy empty box and covered it with lovely paper. I have my filing dividers inside. The dividers are labelled. My CAs know how this system works and they use it to organise paperwork, copy papers, file work to be marked etc. I keep this under my desk and it keeps me mega organised.
I also have a smaller version that I keep on my desk. Here it is:
I posted a video of this on Instagram - Press the button to check it out. Don't forget to follow me on Instagram as I regularly post photographs of the "stuff" in my classroom.
This one I got in Sainsbury's - my go to shop for pretty stationery. These are out of stock at the moment but you can purchase similar desk planners from Amazon:
Here is a smaller version on Amazon:
Number 4: Pocket charts
My last item was hard to pick. Looking around my room it was either going to be my guided reading, horseshoe desk or my pocket charts. The pocket charts won as these are really good for visual learning and my pupils love working with words/ pictures/ sentences within these. There are three types. I have this one that I attach to my Flipchart. Children can work at this area in small groups -creating sentences or for going over key words.
This one is great for displaying a visual timetable or for children to sequence a story.
The third one is a small stand - this one I keep at my guided reading area. A definite must-have for small group activities.
So if I had to lift 4 items and transfer these to my new classroom - I now know exactly which 4 items I would lift. Luckily for me I'm not limited and also it might take a while for the new build, so in the meantime I will be happy in my classroom full of "stuff" and write blogs on the items I have in there, for you guys to read.
So I'm happy and stress-free. And I wish you all a lovely day!
Check out my other blogs:
Deborah White - Primary School teacher in Northern Ireland - presently teaching primary 2.