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Setting up classroom at the start of the year.

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by mrst1985, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. Most schools are open for the first 2 weeks in the summer term, but it is unlikely that they will let you set up then as most caretakers will be in to deep clean the classrooms. Then they will more than likely be open at the end of the holidays in order to let teachers set up their classrooms. My advice would be to find out what topics you're doing and start to plan what you will be putting on the noticeboards - you can do a lot of this preparation in the meantime! Does that help you?
  2. trinity0097

    trinity0097 New commenter

    Every school is different, you need to check with your school as to when it is open, and more importantly when you can gte to your classroom as they may not be the same, e.g. some days the certain corridors in ours are closed as the new polish on the floors dries.

    Being pally with the caretaker helps a great deal!
  3. laconn

    laconn New commenter

    Thanks for the replies. I will probably be visiting the school at some point during the last two weeks of term so I will have to find out when the usual time is to set up. Like you said - I could always start to plan the display and things over summer and be prepared to organise it once I get there in September. I was just worried I wouldnt have the time as on one of my placement my class teacher said she spent most her holidays in the school sorting out the classroom. Thanks for your help.
  4. I have just got a job for September and the Head said i will be able to come in school throughout the summer. I guess it may be different for some schools but i am sure if you speak to them they will sort something out for you.
  5. As trinity said, every school is different about when they will be open, it depends on lots of different factors.

    As far as time goes, if you want to give the room a thorough sorting out and make everything yours, depending on how tidy and organised the previous teacher was, you will need at least a week to do it. If you are the kind of person who doesn't mind leaving a lot of things the same and not sorting through resources etc. immediately, you should be ok with three days or so just to get resources ready and do displays. I would think three days is the minimum, as you will almost certainly find there is a lot more to do than you realised once you get there.
  6. laconn

    laconn New commenter

    Thanks for the replies, I think the playscheme I'm working at over summer finishes a week before school starts. So I whould have that week to sort things out in the class and will hopefully spend a couple of weekends during the summer sorting out accomodation. Thanks again.
  7. trinity0097

    trinity0097 New commenter

    Also check out the free sections of all the 'Parasites' shops for loads of goodies to get you started - thread on primary forum.
  8. Smurf191

    Smurf191 New commenter

    Just be careful about cleaning dates, a friend set up her room, put the tables exactly where she wanted them etc...then she came back to find the cleaners had put all the tables upside down to clean the floor! This happened 3 times before she gave up - she can laugh about it now!
  9. It is a long time since I was an NQT but perhaps I can give you a few tips I have developed over the years.1st Phone the school and ask when the school is open.
    Remember you can only do a limited amount to your class, it will grow and evolve as the year progresses. Make it bright and welcoming.
    Very important tip!
    Make sure you have enough tables and chairs for the size of your class.
    Arrange furniture in your class, but keep areas that might still need cleaning accessible eg near windows or walls.

    Depending on the age/stage of your class you could make the first few days an opportunity to build relationships by encouraging the children to help you organize areas, after all they have to use them too, then they could make their own name tags or labels etc,(your first art lesson!?). Knowing what you want them to develop and what you want to do yourself you could vastly reduce the time you will need to spend setting up your room. Good luck and enjoy!

  10. Are you primary or secondary?

    I'm secondary - when I started I spent a day taking the previous displays down (I'm an RE teacher and was given a maths room!), and then put a few posters up. I didn't start displays until December - building relationships and getting your head around sxhemes of work, marking etc.
  11. Most schools have 1 or 2 training days at the start of the year, check the situation with your school.

    If this is the case you should be able to do it on these days and may not need to come in at all - enjoy as much of your holiday as you can!
  12. I read this and thought that I had to let you know...
    "Just be careful about cleaning dates, a friend set up her room, put the tables exactly where she wanted them etc...then she came back to find the cleaners had put all the tables upside down to clean the floor! This happened 3 times before she gave up - she can laugh about it now!"
    Some thing like this happened to me. I arrived in a classroom a week or so before the start of the term to find every table, chair, cupboard etc moved to one side of the room. I was so unhappy about it (this was a school I has been working in for some time but new cleaning staff and all that!) I marched straight to the Head and informed him that I was going to sort out the books I had come into do, back the boards for displays and then go home and that when I come back in a couple of days time I expect that the furniture situation will be sorted out - it was all moved back. I could not believe that anyone would move all my furniture and then just leave it in a pile for someone else to sort out. I know that will not help some of you but if you know that you are going to leave a classroom in good order and then go back and find out everything has been moved and not put back then you have the right to complain (I fully understand the need to move to clean but it is reasonable to expect it to be returned).
  13. What did you expect? They'd draw a plan of your class, label each item and then measure up to make sure it all went back in the right place?
    Give them a break. Every year they do the same - move and clean. Why should you have it any different because you "marched in"?
  14. I 'popped' into my school for a visit following Easter break, and left with a full time table as the NQT had 'left'!
    4 years on I've just spent most of this spring break sorting out behind my desk properly!! Chucking out stuff from my predecessor(sp)!! I'm just lazy I guess.
    The rest of the room I've made my own over the years. Depends I suppose what age you teach. I have one 'whats new' display board at the front, with notices for my form (yr11) a large world faiths calendar (RE teacher)changing motivational/inspirational posters (at the mo aimed at revision/exams etc! Also current articles relevant to my subject. The other display boards are blank at the start of the year ready for students work.
  15. I can beat the whole messy classroom thing, went into my placement classroom to begin my third week of placement after the last half term holiday, the classroom had been wripped apart, all the displays were on the floor, desks had all been stacked and the chairs had nearly all gone. I asked the Caretaker what had happened and he said he had no idea as the school had been closed during the half-term and nobody had been in. Never found out what happened or who did what, but it was the only class in the school and I ended up spending the first hour of the day with my class, getting them to help me tidy up.
  16. NKOTB - that is exactly what does happen in my school. We draw a plan of the classroom on our whiteboard and the cleaning staff put it all back in the right place once they have finished the cleaning. I have had my classroom painted over the holiday and had to move everything into the middle of the room at the end of last term. It was all back in the correct place this morning when I got in. I thanked our site manager and asked her to thank the cleaners as well. They are stars.
  17. My top tip - when you visit the school in the summer term ask about backing paper, where stored, what colours etc and if possible make your selection and put in a very safe place in your room. I hate being a new member of staff, arriving at the end of the holidays and finding every decent colour has been taken. They may also let you order your choice of colours, I like more subdued, natural shades for a calmer environment.
    Also - be very wary about what you throw away. We had a NQT last year who came in during the holidays with her Mum and threw away loads of resources that had been built up over the years when I was teaching in that room which were used by the whole year group (and yes, they were labelled). What looks like junk might be just what you need for a certain topic. Save the big throw away for next summer! Meanwhile store what looks like junk in a box somewhere out of the way.
    In our school the T.A's come into school for a day or so in the last week of the holidays (unpaid, they are a great bunch)to help sort/organise/back walls etc. If you have a TA it may be worth finding out if this happens in your school.
  18. laconn

    laconn New commenter

    Thanks for the advice! I will definately ask about cleaning days as several of you have mentioned this could be a problem!

    I rang my school this week to ask if I could come in for a few days at the end of term and asked about days over the summer. I think it will be open at some point but this is down to the caretaker who will let them know which days it will be open closer to the holidays.

    I will officially start on the 31st August - which is a PD day - so this could give me a bit of time to organise the class.

    Can't wait to start! I'm just worrying about the little things know that you dont get told whilst your training. Thanks for the support!
  19. laconn

    laconn New commenter

    beats - I am primary - going to be teaching year 3.

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