As a teacher, the way you organize your classroom is extremely important. Whenever you decorate or organize your classroom, keep in mind how you can develop your classroom environment to provide quality learning.
The prime benefits of a well-organized classroom will accrue to your students. Your organization and procedures (or lack thereof) are, after all, ever-present reminders to the children of how to behave, how to conduct their business, and how best to be effective without discord in a group. Respect for others, consideration, efficiency, pride of accomplishment, security in knowing what, how, when, and where to do something—all these positive elements are the hallmarks and characteristics of students who learn in well-organized classrooms. Children like a predictable, safe, and orderly environment—and they like going to a school that provides that environment. For these reasons alone, it behooves any teacher to pay close attention to good organization.
Aside from the benefits to students, good organization brings powerful help to the teacher. In fact, it can be truthfully said that the first “aide” any teacher has is his or her ability to organize the classroom well.
The immediate benefits of a well-organized classroom to the teacher are clear—less wasted time and therefore more efficiency. Not so immediately apparent, perhaps, are the following very significant elements:
• reduced teacher fatigue
• improved student-teacher relations
• improved parent-teacher relations
• increased job satisfaction
• increased enthusiasm for professional growth
• increased student academic progress
Here are three important points to remember when organizing your classroom:
1. Create a positive and safe environment for your students.
2. Create an environment that will maximize learning.
3. Create an environment that will minimize the frequency of behavior problems.
• Check these suggestions to include in your decision-making when arranging the desks in your classroom. Remember that the classroom is there for your teaching and the students’ learning.
• Observe how other teachers have arranged their classrooms and choose the arrangement that best suits your needs and goals.
• Desks or tables might be arranged in one of the following ways: (1) half-circles with a front row and a back row (2) in groups of four or five (3) the traditional way, with chairs lined up, one behind the other.
• Arrange your room so you can have eye contact with all your students.
• Arrange your desks so that the students’ attention is on the teacher.
• Make sure that each student is able to see chalkboards, whiteboards, and other modes of visuals.
• Desks should not be placed in front of windows. The glare can be distracting and difficult on the eyes.
• Note where the “high traffic” areas will be. Try to keep this area free of congestion.
• Students need to have easy access to those materials that will be used frequently.
• Students should be able to find their work easily and quickly to promote learning.
For more tips on classroom organization, check out these helpful resource books: