Any teacher or school leader having spent time teaching will appreciate that no two classrooms are the same, which goes for any area of desk or personal space you might have within that environment. Whilst some have done away with the traditional desk at the front of the classroom altogether or rearranged the environment for more flexibility, others find that there is still a place for quiet periods of working. Whichever you prefer, we’ve come up with some simple ideas to transform your environment.
An approachable environment
Some educators see the traditional teacher’s desk as a barrier between themselves and their students, blocking approachability for questions, queries or ideas. Counter this and make it a more forward-facing space – we’ve seen examples of some teaching professionals turning the student-facing side of their desk into a bulletin or planner that encourages interaction and collaboration. Alternatively, a simple addition of personalisation can be a good talking point to cut through any barriers, such as TV or film posters and images.
Making the most of a small space
If you value having your own space but don’t have a lot to work with, there are plenty of hacks to help you make the most of what you’ve got. For example, if you don’t sit at your desk too often whilst communicating with your class, try turning your desk against a wall and utilising the opposite wall space to pin memos, calendars and stationery organisers, or creating a corner space to maximise your wall space.
If you value simplicity, invest in some low-maintenance plants, such as cacti or succulents, to brighten up your space and make a more appealing place in which to sit during quieter periods.
One of the biggest arguments for needing a desk in your classroom today is for storage and organisation. From stationery, hand-outs and the base for your laptop to device chargers and the place where you keep teabags, the desk can act as a central hub for many teachers. If you find you prefer to stand, walk around or even sit at pupils’ tables whilst you’re teaching, why not turn your desk space into the ultimate organiser? Pinterest is a great platform for finding inspiration.
An ongoing project
Finally, why not turn the space into something your whole class or tutor group can get involved in? This could be an ongoing project related to something they’re learning with you during a term, such as a mood board or collage, or more of a community-focused space to utilise during tutor sessions.
What are your thoughts on desks in the classroom? Have you found a creative way to get the most out of your desk space? Share your tips and photos with us on Twitter!