Good teachers, by nature, are good planners. Being able to effectively plan ahead is a part of the job description. I always say "plan now or pay later" - one aspect of planning may not have been covered during teacher preparation. . .
I accompanied our oldest son as he set up his first classroom. A narrow classroom with too many desks and little room in which to maneuver. He teaches science like I did at one time. Finding his "teacher space" was a challenge. But since it was his first classroom, the fact that he even had a desk was exciting to him.
What we inherit as teachers is usually odd shaped rooms, discarded furniture, and not enough chairs. How do we make magic in such settings?
|Vicki's first classroom - circa 1985|
It was a pretty drab existence those first couple of years. I was embarrassed by the paucity of my surroundings. I didn't want parents to visit because I didn't want them to see the tossed-to-the-curb desks and flea market find bookcases that littered the yellowed linoleum floor of the 14' x 40' trailer we called our classroom. But I found ways to make this space work. I personalized it in ways that made my students feel welcome and made my own work space - my desk area - a place that reminded me why I became a teacher in the first place.
You will need a space that inspires you, motivates you, and reminds you of your calling. Judy Deeley, a veteran teacher in Florida, who continues to find new ways to make a difference, organized her "teacher space" in a way that shows her passion for teaching. We know who she is and what makes her a great teacher by her space.
Whether your classroom is an awkward collection of mismatched hand-me-downs, or a brand new classroom in a state of the art school, personalize your teacher space as a reminder to yourself and your students of who you are and how much you care. Your students will be inspired by you!