End of Year: Clear Your Classroom to Clear Your Mind

Packing up classroom at the end of the year with Beyond

Have you started your countdown to summer break? Let’s be honest, you’ve been counting down since Easter half term haven’t you? With just a couple weeks left, summer is well and truly around the corner and we are all exhausted, drained and hobbling to the finish line…and that’s before we’ve considered packing up our classroom at the end of the year!

Amid the hustle and bustle of school life, it’s easy to get disorganised. Many of us have had to go from classroom to classroom because of social distancing guidelines so organisation has been the least of our worries. Now that most teachers are back in their classrooms and the end of the school year is nigh, it’s time to start decluttering for the new year. You might have heard this before, but the whole “your environment is a reflection of your state of mind” quote is not a quote for nothing. There is some serious truth to it. With that being said, what does your classroom reveal about you?

Decluttering doesn’t have to be this strenuous, never-ending uphill battle. Packing up your classroom at the end of the year? We’ve come up with some simple, easy ways you can start decluttering your classroom starting today!

Tip #1 – Throw away the scrap

Teachers are infamous for having reams and reams of paper lying around everywhere. We have stacks of folders filled with “useful” information that we remember nothing about, bits of loose paper scribbled with planning ideas and to-do lists and endless resources we thought would be great for our students. All this stuff just creates the paper mountains in our cupboards, draws and desks! It’s time to start sorting through all of it. Start tackling the scrap, one draw at a time.

Tip #2 – Use It or lose It

Think about day-to-day school life and the things you are constantly reaching for. These could be things you use for planning, marking and teaching and also things your students use. You’ll notice that your classroom is filled with a bunch of random things that never get the use they deserve. You have to be ruthless and clear out all the things that are collecting dust. Even if it means losing that teacher stationery you got as a gift or that self-help book you keep saying you’ll read. If the item is broken, incomplete or simply not useful – bin it. Release the “this could come in handy” mindset for good!

Tip #3 – After the big purge, organise

After you’ve gotten rid of the scrap it’s time to organise what you’ve decided to keep. Find a place for your folders, books, important documents and resources you plan to use again next year. Decide where you will put all your student books and textbooks so they are easily accessible. Teaching in a decluttered and organised classroom is unmatched!

Tip #4 – Decorate with student work 

Instead of filling the walls with antiquated, motivational posters and dated displays let your students’ work be the focal point of your classroom decor. Choose the best pieces of work and display them intentionally. Even if these displays aren’t as elaborate as others you’ll still be reducing clutter and bringing order to your room. The best part about decorating with student work is boosting their confidence and fostering student pride in your classroom!

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