The modern classroom is more challenging than ever, for both students and teachers. High-tech gizmos are making the teaching process easy but they do require time to learn to operate. Of course, there are other classroom accessories that are evergreen and that every teacher will probably need in the centuries to come.
It is this combination of old and new learning utensils that make for an efficient contemporary classroom. In order to help both seasoned and newbie teachers, we have singled out nine of the most crucial accessories that should find their way in every classroom.
1. Its majesty the bookcase
We all dream of owning one of those iconic IKEA bookcases but there is a place where dreams come true. A typical school classroom could hardly be imagined without at least one bookcase. They are stocked with literary classics, coloring books, magazines, paintings, black and white newspapers, and everything else imaginable.
They serve as provisional libraries where students can find the books they like. Reading is giving way before the onslaught of smartphones but if a single child picks up a book off the bookshelf, then its existence is more than justified. Teachers are in his sense librarians who are suggesting the children what to read by placing the books they deem suitable.
2. Posting the rules
When children go to school for the first time, they are briefed about what they can and cannot do at school. However, these rules fade from their memory after a while and they start being rowdy. Since children react well to visual stimuli, creating a poster presentation about these rules can help a lot.
It is one thing when you scold them and remind them of the general rules of behavior but a whole different scenario if you can actually point to a physical object these rules are set on. The creation of the general rules poster is the ideal class project. Kids can create two columns, one titled DOs (written in green) and the other entitled DON’Ts (written in red). In terms of discipline, this will prove as the best accessories you can ever create.
3. Boxes. A lot of boxes
In reality, there are so many items lying around the classroom that don’t have a place of their own. Yes, a jacket goes on the coat hanger but where will you store a school project you made at Math’s class?
Instead of cramming the room with hefty filing cabinets, opt for boxes — a lot of them. They can be decorative in design, like the ones you would wrap a birthday present into. Furthermore, you could have minuscule boxes to store chalk or rubber in, as well as ones large enough to fit the model of the atom you’ve made in Chemistry class.
4. Office supplies
Did you know that teaching is the only job to which you bring stuff you stole from home and not vice versa? Joking set aside, teachers are constantly in need of utensils like pencils, markers, pens, pencil sharpeners, etc. In fact, they need them so urgently that often they purchase office supplies on their own, not waiting for official procurement to deliver. You could never have enough of notebooks, erasers, crayons or scissors so always order more than you presently need.
5. Modern boards
There are two types of boards in a classroom: notice board and writing board. The latter ones are perhaps more important because teachers and children use them much more extensively. That is why the quality of blackboard is essential, as well as their modernity. There are white boards and black boards and also glass boards, like the one Display Me offer.
Yes, you read that right: glass. These magnetic glass boards are perfectly safe to use because they are made from tempered safety like, similar to the one your car’s windshield is made from. They are both stylish and sturdy, which guaranteed that the kid in the back row can clearly see what is displayed on them.
6. A talent showcase
As far as notice boards are concerned, instead of spamming them with unimportant stuff turn them into gallery walls. The classroom will instantly turn artsy if you hang on the walls the drawings your students made. Their sketches and paintings don’t have to be outstanding but it is important that they put their little heart and soul into making them. If their artwork is up for display for the whole class to see, these students will learn to take pride in their work. In fact, why not expand the expo to the school corridors!
7. Towels and wet wipes
One of the most underrated classroom items that you can never have too much of are towels and wet wipes. Children are constantly getting their hands dirty and wet wipes are much handier (pun intended) for wiping the dirt off than running to the bathroom. You as the teacher can benefit as well, as you won’t have to rush the bathroom five or more times a day to wash your hands. If there is a large roll of kitchen towels as well, then all the liquids that get spilled onto the floor can be soaked in quickly. As a bonus, you should always keep a box of tissue near at hand in order to assist a student with a runny nose.
8. A smart speaker
As a teacher you need all the help you can get in the classroom. That help can come in the form of an AI-powered smart speaker lately. The adoption of these devices is spreading throughout classrooms, thanks to more affordable prices and a growing number of creative ideas from teachers to put them to good use in classroom activities. A smart speaker can help with basic classroom management, allow students to double check their learning results in various subjects, play music, tell stories, and so much more. As an added plus, especially for younger students, it encourages them to practice their pronunciation skills.
9. Online grade books
The final item on our list is all about getting rid of paper. A grade book has to be a physical object according to bylaws in several states but this does not stop you from creating an online copy of it. Students’ grade should be a secret and they should be able to access them easily. They are fairly easy to use and offer much more options than the paper copy. This might not be a tangible classroom accessory but online grade books are a strong indicator that the classroom is slowly but surely turning virtual.
Read more: The fallacy of the paperless classroom
The nine accessories listed here are just the crucial ones but using the help of your students you have the possibility to come up with many more additions to the classroom. After all, the job of a teacher implies a high level of creativity.
Neil White is a HR specialist from Sydney. He has worked in HR for over 10 years in multiple companies all over Australia. He has been interested in people his entire life and that is why the part of his job he particularly enjoys are employee relations. He has learned a lot dealing with all kinds of people throughout his career and therefore he thinks his job is the best.