Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Getting the Classroom Ready for Summer {Ending The School Year Series: Post 3}

This is the 3rd of 5 posts focused on packing up your classroom at the end of the school year. The first two posts can be read here:
Today we are focusing on Getting the Classroom Ready for Summer. Those of you who have been teaching for awhile know the feeling. The year is wrapping up. The beach is calling your name. You want to kick off summer as quickly as possible. Once the packing is done you will benefit from taking a few extra steps now that will save you lots of time and hassle at the end of the summer.

  • Leave a Map: Avoid having your cleaning crew drag all the furniture into the hall and then just plop it back in anywhere by leaving a map or pictures. They clean lots and lots of rooms and I’m sure to them, they all start to look the same. If you want the furniture returned to your choice location, draw an easy-to-read map and/or leave photos. I’ve seen teachers sketch it out on the white board, but I think taping them to your door is the best place to leave them. 
  • Leave Your Photos: One of my tips yesterday was to take photos of your classroom so you can see where everything goes. These pictures can be helpful to the custodial staff as well. Print them and hang them on the door. Don't forget to include a note of gratitude.

  • Label: I love labels in any situation, but when it comes to summer at school it is extremely important. Often times everything will be dragged into the hall from several classrooms so they can clean many rooms at once. Increase the likelihood that you’ll get back your own tables, chairs and other furniture by labeling each piece. Painters tape works great for this because it peels off without residue. I recommend labeling it with your name and room number.
  • Clean: You’ll need to “reclean” in the fall, but a quick dusting, wipe and shine now will make that easier too. Be sure to remove any food items from the classroom to prevent unwanted pests. This especially applies to lockers, cubbies, desks and any other nooks and crannies of the classroom where your little cherubs may have accidentally left a snack.
  • Pull the Shades: If your classroom will not be in use over the summer, pull down your shades to keep the sun from fading materials.
  • Store Cords and Cables: The cleaning crew may need to move computers and other technology around. Avoid losing important pieces by removing them and storing them together. You’ll want to store the pens and eraser from your interactive boards with them.
  • Move Everything Off of the Floors:  Use counter space to hold baskets and smaller furniture items. Doing so will make the cleaning crew’s job easier and help to keep your belongings from being broken or misplaced.
  • Roll Up Rugs: Secure the rolled rug with duct tape so it doesn’t come undone if/when it is moved.
  • Team Up With a Friend: Many things are easier moved and prepared with extra hands. Have a colleague work with you in your room and then return the favor in his/her room.
  • Protect Student Confidentiality: Make sure student records, reports, notes, tests, etc are all relocated to a safe and secure location. Shred documents that can be shredded. 
  • Cover Boards and Open Shelves: Prevent damage and dust by covering open shelving and displays before you leave. Plastic trash bags are a great option to use for this task because they can be reused for their intended purpose after the summer.

To get more ideas I reached out to other teachers through the Clutter-Free Classroom Facebook fan page.  I’ll be featuring their fabulous ideas at the end of the series. You read them over at the FB page today or wait and see them on here on Thursday.
Do you have additional tips or advice to offer? Leave a comment here or respond to yesterday’s question of the day over at the CFC Facebook Page.
Also, be sure to check out my #1 selling product: The Clutter-Free Guide to Organizing and Managing Your Classroom. It's chock full of pictures and ideas to get you and your learning environment in order.

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