Moving meant packing up, cleaning out, and organizing. It wasn’t something I was looking forward to after being in a regular classroom for 19 years and collecting anything and everything I may need to enhance the learning taking place in my classroom. However, I found that moving was great- I cleaned, purged, and downsized!
All of my teaching years before this one have been spent in a regular, self-contained classroom where every possible space was filled with paper, pencils, books, supplies, students, etc.! This year is different. I moved to a new position where I am managing and teaching in a computer lab. The lab was freshly transformed from a classroom to a computer lab this summer. Because I was not going to teach a regular classroom, I left a lot of the “stuff” that filled my old classroom behind for the teacher who took my place. That has made my new space much less cluttered.
One good thing about creating this new space was that I was able to give input into how it would be set up. We had to be creative with our layout because of needing to use available plugs. Having all of the computers face the same direction helps so that I can stand in the back of the room and see the screen of everyone’s computer at the same time. We also wanted the kids to be able to see the existing Smart Board that is hung in the front of the room. Thirty-two computers fit comfortably in the new space, leaving a small area in the front where I can have a group of kids gather on the floor, if needed. Last year, I created an inexpensive “stand-up” desk using some old boxes. It makes it much easier to use the computer with the projector when needed, and encourages a good bit of healthy standing during the day.
Because I didn’t have as much junk to fill the shelves, I opted to add some color and some fun to my back shelves. Colored cubes from the dollar store and several technology-related pictures fill the back shelves. I also brought my classroom pet, a parakeet, to my new space.