When you earn a degree in early childhood education you learn to expect the unexpected. The stress that comes with a chaotic classroom is something every new teacher must adjust to when they take their first position. With a few simple classroom organization hacks, however, you can keep your classroom streamlined and focus on your kids.
Try these stress-relieving organization hacks in your classroom:
- Create one centralized bulletin board for all of the key information children would need each day to reduce questions and wasted time. Include information like the hourly schedule, classroom rules, school calendar, and safety tips.
- Keep a binder in your desk with a “sick day” lesson plan that can be taught independently at any point in the year by a substitute teacher, so you won’t fall behind and “lose time” if you catch a cold.
- If you store books for multiple reading levels in your classroom bookshelf, paint each shelf a different color so you can organize your book collection by grade level.
- For grade levels with worksheets and daily homework assignments, collect homework at the end of a unit instead of every day. This allows for some flexibility in case a student falls behind, and it allows you to grade and return papers as efficiently as possible.
- Keep track of all of your students without sign-in sheets: use a metallic hanging tray and numbered buttons to quickly see what students are in the restroom, in the office, out for the day, or in your classroom.
- The Association of American Educators suggests hanging labeled clipboards on your bulletin board for handouts and collecting assignments. Using a clipboard allows you to quickly change materials as you progress through your teaching units, making your bulletin board fun and interactive.
- If your students’ desks don’t include storage space, keep their desktops free of clutter by installing bins in between sections of desks. Include organizers on top of the bins so students can quickly access art supplies, calculators, writing utensils, erasers, and other necessities.
- One ingenious idea from Education Week is to stay organized yourself to maintain order in your classroom. How? By “strapping” your supplies to your person rather than walking around the room searching for them. They suggest investing in a tool belt to hold pencils, markers, a hole punch, a calculator, index cards, and more.
Staying organized is just one small part of a teacher’s workday. With a degree from Kendall College you’ll have the experience needed to approach each new challenge with confidence. Learn more about the career opportunities that may await you after you earn an Early Childhood Education degree at Kendall College.