Ladybug Teacher Files is having a linky party on the topic of desks, tables or both. I have a definite opinion on this topic!!;) Here’s a story about my classroom:
First of all, you will need a little background info about my classroom to understand where I am coming from:) I have a VERY small classroom!! AND there are NOOOO closets in our school:( So, I have to fit EVERYTHING that I have IN my classroom…yes, you read correctly-NO closets!!! I have 2 storage cabinets that are JAM packed and lots of shelves.
I also teach in IL. (and not near Chicago–Chicago schools get a HUGE majority of the money that does get distributed.) But, IL is in VERY bad financial shape:( The state of IL owes our tiny district over $500,000. It owes larger district around our area(we are close to STL, MO) millions of dollars. So, needless to say there is NO $ to make any kinds of improvements. That is why last year I had 27 kinders in my class!!!!! NO MONEY to hire a 3rd teacher:( (THIS year they had to hire a 3rd kinder teacher and I still had 21 kinders)
So last year, when I had 27 kinders in my class, I had desks in my TINY classroom with NO closets AND one of those kiddos was in a wheel chair!!!! Needless to say, there was no room for anyone to walk around and she ABSOLUTELY could NOT maneuver through my room:( She had to have the desk closest to the door and had to be taken out of her wheelchair and carried around when we needed to move to the carpet, etc. I had bruises on my upper legs ALL year long from bumping them on all of the desks and tripping over them when trying to teach!! Here is a pic. of what my room used to look like with desks. I wish I had a better one, but this is all I could find.
And yes…that IS a chalkboard that you see in the background!!;) I still have chalkboards! LOL!!!
When you walked in the door, there was a wall of desks. There were little rows to walk through. I tried to put them in pods but, there just wasn’t enough room. I couldn’t put them far enough apart from each other and it was too hard to walk through AND every time they would scoot there chairs out to get up, they would be bumping into each other. So, the rows worked a lot better in our cramped space.
So, last Summer, I asked for desks. I drew diagrams of my classroom and how it looked before desks and what it would look like after desks showing how much space I would have with tables and I sent a letter and my diagrams to the superintendent AND it worked!!!!! I couldn’t believe they were actually going to spend $ for me!!!!! Yay!!! So, here are some pics from my classroom this year!!;)
SoOoOooO much more space…I was in HEAVEN!!!!;)
There were some obstacles…a few small problems I hadn’t even thought of before I had tables….
Nametags….they were just WAY too big!! My kiddos didn’t have enough work space on their table because their nametags took up so much space!!! Also, I discovered when it was time to change my seating arrangement that I would have to remove the nametags!!!! That would mean I would have to go through a lot of nametags and those things are not cheap!!;) So, here’s what I did….
I got some paint stirrers and made them into nametags!!! They took up VERY LITTLE space!!!! AND I just put a piece of velcro on the bottoms so that when I wanted to change my seating arrangement-I could just pull them off and move them around! Also-paint sticks do NOT bend, wrinkle, tear, roll up, etc!!! They are SUPER durable and will last you all year!!!! AND the best part is THEY’RE FREEEEEE!!! Just go to Lowe’s, Walmart, or anywhere they sell paint and tell them you’re a teacher and they will give you as many as you want!!!;)
Here’s a pic of them at the end of the year….they are a little smudged from cleaning desks, etc. I think this year I will put a coat of ModPodge over them to prevent this from happening and they should be perfect for the entire year:)
The other problem I had was what to do with their supplies, books, etc. Well, my mother-in-law is VERY handy an she whipped up these awesome pouches for me!!!;) They are made from denim, so they are VERY durable!!
So, if you’re looking to save space….tables are a MUST!! I ♥, ♥, ♥ mine!!;)