At the end of the school year, teachers often need to pack up their entire classrooms. In anticipation for potential classroom moves, these instructors must completely empty their old rooms, requiring them to unpack and decorate their new classrooms from scratch the following year. Though this can be stressful and unfavorable, teachers can make the best of this by keeping some of the following tips in mind.
Before packing up the classroom
- Take photos. Before you start to pack up your classroom items, be sure to take some photographs of your room. This way, you can use these pictures as reference points when you are situating your new room next school year. Being able to reference your previous year’s arrangement can make the unpacking process a lot smoother.
- Prepare your summer reading. Don’t worry -- this isn’t what it sounds like! While students may have their summer reading to do, teachers should have some homework of their own. Otherwise, how can instructors improve for next year? Professional development is important, so finding a few books to read over the break is a
great way to get better in specific teaching-related areas.
- Take inventory.
Figure out what you need to shop for during the summer, as well as what you already have
. This is a wonderful way to plan lessons for the beginning of next year because you can work with what you have first. You can also compare your inventory to your lesson plans to prioritize your items and shopping list.
- Label essential items effectively. Speaking of prioritizing, every teacher knows that there are certain items you can’t do without. These are the ones you will absolutely need the first week of school, so you should work to separate these from the less important items. It can be beneficial to organize a special box for essentials, labeling exactly what the box contains on the outside. This will make unpacking a breeze!
- Start about a month before school ends. You tell your students not to wait until the last minute, so why should you? It’s usually a good idea to begin packing up your classroom about a month before the last day of school. It makes sense to pack the items you won’t need the rest of the year first, then work your way toward the essentials.
- Clean as you go. As you’re packing up your classroom, you should clean your items as well as the room. Cleaning during the process will minimize the amount of work that needs to be done later, both on your part and on that of the custodial staff. It is also important to wipe down all of your supplies that you plan on reusing next year, to keep everything looking fresh for your new students.
- Don’t be afraid to throw things away. Do not hesitate to have a little “purge” while packing up your room. There are definitely things that you don’t plan on using next school year, so why keep them? Chances are, if you haven’t used an item all year, you won’t have any use for it next year. It’s okay to throw these things in the trash.
- Keep everything organized. Maintain order with your books and papers. Use baskets or boxes to move your books, and try to keep similar books together. This way, you will just have to remove them from their boxes and place them directly on their new shelves.