Where to Start with Classroom Setup

Is it time? Has the moment FINALLY arrived? You know the moment I’m talking about…

The moment where all of your Pinterest boards about “Classroom Decor” and the 3 million ideas you’ve scribbled in your planner are ready to come to fruition. The moment when you are going to set up (or re-set up) your classroom.

You take your newly-issued keys (or, if you’re like me, the keys that you’ve had for years and are covered in gum from the bottom of your bag), unlock the door to your classroom, and suddenly it hits you.

There is SO. MUCH. TO. DO. Where do you even start???

Never fear! I am here with the absolute first thing you should do when planning your classroom, and I’m going to bet it probably isn’t the most obvious. The tendency is to start with a theme, color scheme, or other decor element in mind, but what good can any of that do if the physical layout of the space isn’t done yet?

The very first thing to do is to take 10 minutes and think through how the space is (or will be) used.

Sounds a little obvious, doesn’t it? I promise, though, the overwhelm will melt away with the clarity this simple act brings.

I have taught in (and therefore set up) no fewer than 8 classrooms in the 12 years I have been teaching at this point in my career, and around classrooms 6 and 7 I had developed a process that made my classroom setup way quicker and easier, and it begins with the very thing we are talking about today!

In fact, I put together a little planner with the whole process spelled out, and it is the very planner I am using as I revamp my own classroom for next year! (Get it HERE - it’s free!)

First and foremost, I think about how my classroom is used by students.

How do they work in my class?

Where do they work in my class?

What is their class period like from bell to bell?

Next, I take into account how I use my classroom - I think about my teaching style, what types of lessons and activities I do most often, and how I work when I’m alone in the room.

The first two pages of my Quick Classroom Planner lead you through all of these questions in a very logical fashion, and within 10 minutes it becomes clear what is needed in the room and (more importantly) what is not needed!

If you’d like to see my classroom planning process in action, take a look at the Classroom Setup & Decor playlist of videos on my YouTube channel! ;)

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