The lesson plan is set. Your attire is ironed and you are ready to go. You have your writing materials and you even have your books. You take your steps in the school corridor. One foot in front of the other, eager and anxious on what to see in class, you take each step. Then you hear the noise of the students chatter grow louder. But you are not fazed. You are built for this. You clutch the doorknob and with one fell swoop you open the classroom door. Lo and behold your class. Then reality sinks in. Despite being ready you feel that something is amiss in this classroom. Something is not right.
Relax though. There is nothing wrong with you. It is just a matter of knowing and seeing how to arrange the classroom to aid you better. The classroom setup should be a conducive environment for your students to learn. An unarranged classroom is counterproductive. It leads to disruptions and time wastage. On the other hand, a classroom arranged well will make teaching a whole lot easier. So take a good look at your classroom. Keep the picture in your head. Grab a pencil and a graphing paper and let us arrange this classroom.
- Row, row your desk! Settle to a seating arrangement at the start of the year. Setting it by rows aids in minimizing distractions and makes it easier for teachers and professors in learning their student’s names. Just be sure that the rows are facing where the students should focus. Do not let their seating arrangement allow them to stray their view to the window, doorway, or even to that pretty classmate. The row setup is also suitable for passing back checked and graded papers.
- Adapt. The seating arrangement is not the law so you can move it if the class activity calls for it. The seating arrangement will also adapt on the style of your teaching. For group works, bunch the desks in groups of threes or fours. For class activities that require space, like games and open forums, arrange the desks to face the middle. Do not be afraid to change the seating arrangement up from time to time to keep your students on their toes. You can even make this a class activity by allowing your students to help in moving the desks. Remember, the seating arrangement adapts to your lessons, not the other way around.
- Walk the walk. Always have a clear walkway to frequented areas like the bookcase or the pencil sharpening area. In doing so, you will lessen the waiting time as well as the opportunities for students to engage in idle chit-chat. This is a simple trick to keep the class focused.
- Easy access. Organize the materials that your class uses for easy access. Often used supplies like textbooks, pamphlets, etc should be placed in easily seen and easily approached areas. Labeling boxes also makes it easier to keep and get school materials. And then keep your materials out of the students reach.
- Pimp your class. Put up two bulletin boards to give life to your classroom. One is used for putting instructions on activities and another to display student works.
Follow these simple tips to get set for teaching. Nothing helps more than students primed to learn, keep a well-arranged classroom to put your students in the mood.