A Classroom Journey from Frazzled to Dazzled!

Walking into a classroom at the beginning of a new year can make a teacher frazzled. “What should I teach?” “What kind of students will I have?” “Where am I going to get my supplies on such a small budget?” “How am I going to get this classroom in shape in just a week?” With a little help, the beginning of the year can go smoothly. Your frazzled look can turn into a dazzled look with the right tools.

After several years of teaching experience and ten years of being an educational editor, I now have some advice for frazzled teachers. As an editor, I have been able to go through many books and decoratives that would have come in handy when I was a teaching. As we all know, teaching is demanding and time is limited.

Need filler activities? No problem! Having a box full of writing prompt cards will always come in handy. Students might finish a task early or they might want a little extra something to do. Prompt cards are also a quick solution to a student’s dilemma about what to write when he or she is journaling. Also, have learning games available. Students can play the games and not even know they are practicing multiplication or learning their sight words. Don’t wait a minute!

Have a blank wall? No problem! There are so many cute border trims and calendars that are available. From polka dots to plaids, the designs are unlimited. Be daring! Some eye-catchers that I found are from artists like Mary Engelbreit, Debbie Mumm, Wyland, and Susan Winget. There are also some beautiful folders and teacher boxes for storing papers from these artists.

These are just a few ideas to get your classroom in dazzling shape—from border trims to prompt cards to learning games. If you need some help, I just may have a perfect book or decorative that will help you on your journey. Write back telling me of your troubles or successes. Your input just may help another colleague make it through the year!

2 thoughts on “A Classroom Journey from Frazzled to Dazzled!”

  1. Jan

    Loved this article – it isn’t hard to feel “frazzled” – even for a seasoned teacher – so your tips are great – especially for new teachers who are easily overwelmed!

  2. Mary Tucker

    Let’s face it, some activities and visuals will work great with your class; others will flop (for a variety of reasons, including the attitude of your students today). So, start the year with a card file or notebook dedicated to keeping track of the ideas you use. Make a note of each one after you use it and label it (such as: keeper, lemon, try it again with some changes). Don’t take time to write a long explanation (you won’t want to take the time to write it or the time to read it later). Make it as simple and brief as possible. When you’re in the throes of getting reading for school to start next year, you’ll be glad you did it, rather than relying on your memory for each actiity or visual.

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