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Teacher Spring Cleaning Guide

E.K. Garcia

 

Teacher Spring Cleaning GuideWhile “education” and “reform” may have become dirty words, you can reform your classroom into a sparkling, spic-and-span wonderland with a little spring cleaning.

 

Spring cleaning can encompass many things, including:

  • literally cleaning out the dirt and clutter that has accumulated over the school year
  • welcoming in the new season indoors, outdoors and in your lessons
  • remembering and rethinking goals for the year that get lost in the day to day

Cleaning Classroom Space

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Get Students Involved

You didn’t make the mess in your classroom yourself, so why should you be the only one cleaning? Enlist your students with updated classroom jobs.

 

The easiest way to do this might be to beef up classroom jobs for the week and take the few minutes before lunch, recess or end of day to tackle those small chores. With 30 hands at work, your classroom will be clean-as-new in no time.

 

Make Spring Cleaning Fun

Let’s take a note from Mary Poppins on this one and sing our spring cleaning away. Crank up the tunes, make it a sing along or make it a game/competition in the classroom. In the end, everyone will win.

 

Make a day of it and try to interject some learning elements.

 

Tackle the File Cabinets / Piles of Paper Work

Step 1: Get through your backed up grading.

Jennifer Scoggin shares her tips on tackling grading without making yourself crazy with Assessment: Trimming the Data Fat.

 

Step 2: Purge Your File Cabinets

Divide the essential papers into some organized fashion. Once you’ve got those main necessary categories, file them where they belong or toss ‘em in the trash. The feel of a clean desk will bring you peace of mind.

 

Sidenote: Spicing up your files with colored file folders or super cute file folders make the whole experience a little more fun.  

 

Super-organized teacher Charity Preston shared her tips for getting your teacher file cabinets in order.

 

Welcome Spring to the Classroom

Classroom/School Garden

Even if it’s just planting seeds in a Dixie cup garden, it’ll be fun to plan something and watch it grow. If you can get the school involved, planting an outdoor garden as a school with each class/grade taking a section could be a great way to beautify the school.

 

Spring-themed Classroom Decorations

For younger students, everyone makes and decorates construction paper flowers (bonus, put their photos in the middle of the flower for a super-personalized bulletin board). 

 

This is also a time to ensure that you’re making the most of your learning space. Are you walls filled with stagnant posters with no educational value? Try posting quotes,

 

You can also relief the stress clutter creates by trying some feng shui concepts in your classroom organization.

 

Spring into Lesson Planning

Rather than fighting your students’ spring fever, embrace the nice weather and sunshine in your lessons.

 

Try some seasonally-themed lessons, whether you’re

  • *covering the anatomy of plants in your physical science class
  • *exploring the symbolism of flowers in your story/poetry
  • *reading and spelling springy sight words

Search Plant/Flower/Spring Lesson Ideas

Try Scholastic’s Clifford the Big Red Dog Spring Cleaning Lesson

 

Refresh Your Big Picture Perspective

Are you the best teacher you can be? Do you love your job (most days anyway)? Or are you living for the weekends, breaks and summers off?

 

Now is the time to really think about how you can improve in your career, what you want to do next year and what your long-term goals are.

 

Evaluate Your Teaching

What goals did you set in September or New Years? Have you achieved those goals? Take a few moments to get back on track before the summer.

 

It can help to try out a new lesson or project that you can get excited about and engage more than lessons I’ve done year after year. Check out some lesson ideas on the Pop Culture Lesson Plans page or Hot Chalk LessonPlansPage.

 

Evaluate Your Teaching Position

Is there no spring cleaning thorough enough to make you happy in your job? Is your school one of the many laying off teachers, leaving your position for the fall uncertain?

 

Don’t wait until summer to think about next year. It is prime time for applying for teaching job and the market will be flooded with talented teachers. So spruce up your cover letter, teaching resume and rusty interview skills to start your search.

 

Search Teaching Jobs (links to School Spring, one of many teaching job searches)

Explore International Teaching Opportunities

Search Credential & Masters Programs In Your Area

 

How do you tackle spring cleaning in your classroom? Share in the Comments Section!