Friday, September 4, 2015

Ditch your desk

Miss, Hey Miss! Ditch your teacher desk

Hey fellow educators! Are you thinking about ditching your teacher desk? I'm sure it's crossed your mind but you still wonder: 
  • How will I stay organized? 
  • Where will I have 'space' to work? 
I'm here to share my experience of ditching my desk and to answer how I stayed organized and became flexible in my 'work space.'  I must say, this may not be for you...but it doesn't hurt to try! If you aren't completely sold on getting rid of your desk, keep it in your room and use it for a station or check-in for students.  You will still have it available and can switch back if you change your mind. 

I ditched my desk because...

I started out my first year teaching with the typical teacher desk and with a wonderfully comfortable chair. In fact, it was so kids always chose it for choice time! As you can imagine, not being able to sit in my own teacher desk defeated the purpose of having it. So I switched the chair out for the students to use.  Okay, one problem solved.  The next problem I encountered with my teacher desk is the horrendous mess that engulfed the table top day after day.  I was spending a minimum of 20 minutes a day cleaning off the desktop! (This was on a good day where no behaviors destroyed, threw pushed or shoved items on or around my desk/room).

Photo credit
Therefore the next year I ditched the desk. I labeled 'remove' and put in a work order and it was gone so I could begin my 2nd year teaching.

Without my teacher desk I can: 

  • consistently monitor and engage with students in various locations
  • sort, organize, file papers immediately when I receive/print them  
  • accurately organize incoming paperwork (Back to school forms, IEP forms, etc.)
  • accurately organize outgoing paperwork (Back to school forms, IEP forms, etc.) 
  • allow my students to lead and use technology (smart board, wireless keyboard, switches etc.)
  • be flexible and mobile with my work (work in different locations around the room

My No-teacher desk setup:

Miss, Hey Miss! Teacher area
Here is my current teacher area.  I have access to the phone & important numbers. I use the doc camera and have my computer mount.  There is a wire shelf so on the shelf below I can store pointers, balls and wireless keyboard for smart board activities.  On the floor level is 4 white tubs (1 for each 9 weeks) that stores my curriculum. 
Miss, Hey Miss! Teacher toolbox
I use a teacher toolbox to hold all office supplies and my paras have access to it and students (if they ask) I store all of my personal stuff  and + reinforcers in a lockable filing cabinet.

Miss, Hey Miss! Send home/return
1) School passes, nurse pass, cafeteria money envelopes, 2) "TURN IN" folders for attendance, counselor, LSSP/Coordinator, coach and Related Services, 3) "COPY" 2 folders for the copy bin that are titled: 'Need copies' & 'copied'

I also use The Autism Helper's Turn It in system.

Miss, Hey Miss! IEP/ARD station
I store all of my ARD paperwork in a metal filer (above). You can read about my meeting prep in my previous post.  I also have a green folder that 'travels' with me during the ARD/IEPs and holds the notice, transition survey, etc. 
If you have any questions about my setup, please leave a comment below or find me on any of my social media! Until next time,