New Teacher Tip: Arranging Your Classroom
As the new school year begins, most students look forward to joining their new class. The set up and layout of the classroom will determine the ease with which the children can move around the classroom. It is also important to consider your teaching style while you are arranging the classroom. Here are things you should to consider when deciding the layout of the classroom.
1. Teacher’s desk. In the traditional setting, this is one item that is generally kept in the far corner of the room or toward one wall in order to avoid the teacher’s desk being in the middle of high traffic. On the other hand, if your approach to instruction is likely to be more flexible and interactive, you might want to have the teacher’s desk closer to the students’ tables and chairs.
2. Students’ desks. The layout of students’ desks depends on the kind of interaction that you want with students. Perhaps you desire to frequently rearrange the desks, depending on the kind of lesson you are planning, provided the desks are not bolted to the floor. Here are some layout options for you to consider:
a. Students facing the front of the room—this option is best for sessions that involve direct instruction.
b. Students facing the center of the room—this layout creates a friendly environment and is best used when interaction and debate are part of the agenda.
c. Students grouped in clusters—ideal for times when you want students to work in groups or complete a collaborative project in class.
3. Overhead projector or multimedia projector screen. It is mandatory that the screen be placed at a height and angle that allows everyone to see the screen easily. Make sure you sit in each seat while others are present to determine if you can view the screen comfortably from all positions.
4. Classroom supplies. Items that are frequently used need to be handy and kept closer to the students. Items used less often can be stored in a cabinet. The pencil sharpener and trash should be kept slightly away from the students to avoid distraction.
5. Announcement board. Decorate the board to liven up the classroom, as well as to communicate with students about important events during the academic year. Consider these suggestions:
a. Make the board colorful with project work that has been completed by students.
b. Put up a “quote of the day” that is relevant, inspirational, and motivating. You may also make this a revolving duty of the students.
c. Allow students to put up pictures of places they visited on a holiday.
d. Educate your students about something pertaining to their curriculum by pinning up newspaper or magazine editorials.
e. Use another bulletin board to put up important school information, like the academic calendar, fire drill instructions, classroom rules and other such information.
Follow these guidelines and you can be sure that the new academic year will start with a bang! Good luck!