As we approach the end of the school year it got me thinking about all you lovely teachers who may be moving classrooms – either to a new school or another classroom within the school in which you work.
As a former primary school teacher, I remember this feeling well, particularly in one school when I moved every year – from year 3 and 4 to reception, to year 5 and 6 and finally year 6! As I am a very tidy and organised person, I’m sure the head moved me to ensure every classroom also became tidy and organised!
So, how can you make this moving process as stress free and smooth as possible? There is no definitive list, of course, but here are a few tips I’ve picked up along the way:
- Organise your time and don’t leave it until the last minute. Some of you will have to do lists of the things you want to organise, those jobs you wish to do before you move/leave and what you might want to get rid of. I would suggest adding some deadlines or timeframes to this list to help you along the way.
- Declutter and get rid of junk. Many teachers I know hoard! No doubt we have all kept that resource, item, something we thought we’d need again – but how many of us keep it well beyond its useful life? If you are changing schools/year groups and haven’t used it for a few years ask yourself if you genuinely need it? Will you really use it? If not, get rid of it or pass it on to someone who is more likely to make use of it.
- Organise your resources. I would suggest investing in plastic tubs rather than cardboard boxes as they are more robust and waterproof. Organise them into same/ similar resources and label EVERYTHING! Don’t make the tubs too heavy – particularly if you have to carry them the length of your school or take them home before moving to your new school and room.
- Enlist help. Enlisting help of colleagues can be very useful – don’t forget to get them drinks and snacks to keep them fed and watered and as a thank you. If you are able then enlist the support of pupils or students – they are often a pair of willing hands – probably more so in primary when they like to do ‘jobs’ for their teacher!
- Pack an essentials box. Create yourself an essentials survival resource box with the things you know you absolutely won’t be able to live without in the first few weeks.
Lastly, I share a quote from Ross Morrison McGill (Mark, Plan, Teach 2017):
‘With so many different factors involved when moving from one school or classroom to another (location, resources, fixtures and fittings), things will not always go to plan. You may discover things just don’t work in the same way as they did in your previous school or classroom. Sometimes, equipment just won’t fit in the new space, even if you’ve planned the layout carefully. It’s important to be flexible to changes during this time to keep stress levels down.’
This blog was written by Bretta Townend-Jowitt, Education Consultant and Trainer.
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