Before becoming a teacher, I never really considered how important it would be to have your own classroom, and the fact that as a trainee you simply don’t have your own space, never really struck me as a big issue.
This time a year ago, I was so worried about cramming in all this learning that I felt I needed to do before starting my training, that I didn’t really give the school logistics a proper thought.
However, as soon as I started teaching (two weeks into my placement), I realised that the need for your own space is second to none.
Paper, worksheets, sugar paper, pens, scissors, tomorrow’s photocopying, my timetable, information from my SCITT and much more. Suddenly, less than a month in, I found myself drowning in paperwork and there was nowhere to put it.
I’ve always considered myself to be a pretty well-organised person, but that’s always because I’ve had a system in place, and an area to dump all my work (by dump, I mean neatly place and file – obviously.) Therefore, I had no worries that life as a teacher would be just as organised.
But I couldn’t have been more wrong. When you’re training, as a lot of you will know, you are taking this class here, and that class in that room, and that year group downstairs in the ICT room and then finally that Year 11 class back upstairs in – you guessed it – ANOTHER room. The result of all this was me running around the department like a headless chicken – getting redder and more flustered at every opportunity.
However, things are about to change.
Becoming an NQT has many positives in my eyes – more responsibility, more respect, more learning, new challenges – and more importantly, my OWN classroom.
Being privileged enough to have got a job offer from my placement school, meant that I was lucky enough to call dibs on my room – I had a choice of two – and in my mind it was simple – I chose the biggest one. I like my classroom in groups of tables, and this room offers me this option freely.
More than this though, as I spent longer amounts of time in this room towards the end of term, I realised just how fab it is – 2 massive windows, windows on 2 sides of the room, masses of storage – in the form of cupboards, draws, shelves etc. plus (the most exciting part for a stationery geek like me) a cupboard with a few, unopened new pieces of stationery – like a box of 288 colouring pencils!! I mean, they’ll be ruined or have disappeared before long – but for now, they are like treasure.
This morning I went into the school to start setting up my classroom. I initially spent a good 3 hours clearing out rubbish from every nook and cranny imaginable, before starting work on the rest of the room.
After another hour or so, I had managed to cover a couple of my displays – one which has a much loved Penguin Classics theme. After taking advice from a fellow tweeter and teacher this morning, she told me to have displays that are not just of student work. So my Penguin Classics corner is a bit of fun and a piece of love and attention for, and designed by, myself – and something that will not become outdated or mistreated (it’s hidden behind my desk!)
Furthermore, I set up some filing systems and put labels on all my drawers – ready for the term to begin.
There’s still a lot of work to do but for now, I’m pretty happy with the progress – and more than anything, I’m ecstatic to finally own my room, and have a space that is totally mine.
I realise that I am going to be spending a lot of time in my room, which is why I want to make it my own. I’d love to hear from other people what their rooms are like and what their favourite thing in their room is. Let me know!
This is a re-blog post originally posted by @WSPTOTT and published with kind permission. The article was originally published in 2015 and updated in 2020 by UKEd Editorial in accordance with website and policy updates.
The original post can be found here.