Sometimes being a teacher can feel chaotic and disorganised. If you can take control and organise certain aspects of your day and environment, it will make you feel that little bit more organised and less stressed! Being a teacher requires us to be organised within various areas of our job. You can read more about how teachers keep themselves organised in my blog post: How Do Teachers Stay Organised? Teacher organisation is important as it allows us to run an efficient and positive classroom with lots of good learning going on.
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This blog post specifically explores how to organise your teacher workspace. In this post I talk about what resources your teacher desk should include as well as where to position you desk in your classroom. I also talk about how to keep your teacher desk organised.
Where should I put my teacher's desk?
So, before we begin organising your teacher desk, we need to find the perfect spot in your classroom to position it. Where you put your teacher's desk can depend on what age of children you teach and where in the classroom they will spend most of their time during the school day.
If you teach older students and they will be mostly sitting at their desks it would make sense to position your desk at the front of the classroom facing your students. This will allow you to easily see every child in your class and will make it easier to engage them in learning as you will be able to see their faces. Keep in mind not to block any screens, chalkboards, etc with your desk. You will want to ensure your class can easily see anything you are writing up or showing them.
You may also want to consider placing your desk at the back of the classroom facing the backs of your children. This will mean it is less likely you will be blocking the chalkboard or screen. It may also make students who need support feel more comfortable about approaching you for help as it will not be in full view of their classmates.
On the other hand, if you are teaching younger children who are moving around the classroom a lot more you may want to position your desk a little differently. In this case, you may spend a lot less time at your desk controlling the screen or writing on the chalkboard and more time moving around different groups of children. With younger children, you may also spend more time sitting on the carpet together so having your desk positioned in a way that allows you to engage with your children on the carpet while still giving you access to any resources in your desk would be ideal. In my classroom I have my desk positioned facing the corner of my room, but I always have my seat turned around facing my class. As I teach little ones, I spend pretty much no time at all teaching from my desk! Deciding on an optimal desk location totally depends on who and how you teach.
What should a teacher’s desk include?
When thinking about what to include on your teacher desk think about what resources you will need on a day-to-day basis and ensure they are easily accessible to you. These could include things like:
Stapler and staples
It would be a good idea to keep all these smaller things in some sort of desk organiser and label each drawer or section to help keep your desk tidy.
Other things to store in your teacher's desk are any resources/worksheets you will need for that week. You can keep these in trays labeled with each day of the week so every morning all you need to do is grab that day’s resources from your tray.
Important information such as student information or assessment information is probably another thing you would want to keep in your teacher's desk to ensure it is easily accessible whenever you need to refer to it.
Planning documents such as calendars, weekly or daily schedules are also a must-have to include on your teacher desk so you can refer to them throughout the day or week. Make sure to check out my pack of teacher daily, weekly, and monthly planners.
It is not only your desk you should be thinking about but also how can you use the surrounding walls to help you with organisation. These are the perfect places to display reminders for you as well as the children. You can use these spaces for things such as monthly calendars, daily routines, daily reminders, important events, etc.
How to keep my teacher's desk organised?
When aiming to keep your teacher's desk organised a top tip here is to try and clear your desk of any unnecessary items daily. If there is anything that has appeared on your desk throughout the day make sure and return them to their home, take it home with you or throw it out. After clearing your desk, you can then give it a quick sanitise. Ensuring your desk is clear enough to wipe down easily will hopefully be incentive enough to clear it every day.
Another tip to keep your teacher's desk tidy is to give everything a place. Ensure that you and any other teachers that may be covering your class return the items to the correct place. You can even label where things go to make it even easier!
One of the biggest culprits of making any teacher’s desk look messy is paper clutter! Often throughout the day, we are handed countless pieces of paper from colleagues and students, and a lot of the time they just end up on our desk. By introducing a system for paper clutter, we can keep our teacher desks organised. You can do this by having a set of trays labelled with things like “to file”, “to mark/grade”, “to read” etc. You decide what works best for you.