In a perfect world, no teacher would be without a classroom. You would be able to arrange, decorate and organize to your heart’s content and to make the classroom work for you. Unfortunately, reality bites. Chances are that you’re either sharing your classroom with another teacher or are travelling from classroom to classroom. This means that you cannot organize the classroom the way you want so as to ensure that your students are well served and your life is easier.
One of the first casualties of this situation is storage space. Regardless of whether you’re sharing a classroom or floating around the school, storage space is at a premium. Naturally, you need to think out of the box to ensure that you have the storage space that you need. Here are some ideas that can help you.
Use the Storage Space that is Available
Check out places such as the nooks under stairwells. You might be surprised at the space available in such spots. The supply closet is another place you can check for extra storage space. You can ask the school for a storage cabinet that can fit in one of these places. You can even do up the cabinet in a way that tells everyone that this is your spot. If you’re sharing a classroom, come to an agreement with the other teacher about which drawers in the desk you will use and which ones he or she will. If you’re a floating teacher, ask a colleague who has their own classroom whether they’d be willing to help you out a bit. Most of the time, they should be able to.
Utilize Your Cart
Your cart is your mobile storage unit. First of all, make sure that you have a cart which has sides on it. This ensures that things don’t easily fall off from the cart. Secondly, you can tie a file crate, or even multiple crates, to create the extra storage space you need. You can put some storage containers on the shelves so that you can store more stuff. If you get a luggage cart and tie a file crate to it, you can go upstairs and downstairs without any problems.
Organize Your Folders and Supplies
Use vegetable tins that would otherwise have been thrown away to store supplies. You can use them to store pencils, pens and scissors. You can also use them to store other things such as class participation sticks. Alternatively, you can use a curriculum package bag. It has different slots that keep your stuff separate. Get a plastic bin that fits on your cart and use hanging file folders in it. It is a good idea to get file folders of different colours so that you can organize the papers your students hand in, papers that you’ve graded and even papers, quizzes or tests that some students might have missed because they were absent.
Use the Internet
Your students belong to the mobile phone generation. Use this fact to make it work for you. If you are going to ask your students for short written assignments, ask them to do this on Google Doc rather than on paper. If the assignment is a large one setup a Dropbox where your students can send the assignment. There are plenty of other apps such as Google Drive that can help you with storage of assignments. Storing online can make your cart a lot lighter and easier to manoeuvre. It also ensures that you can review your students’ assignments without having to go through stacks and stacks of paper.