10 things a teacher needs in the classroom!
Being a teacher is one of the toughest jobs on the planet, and shaping young minds and igniting the hunger for knowledge is never easy. To make a teacher’s life simpler and to set them up for success, here is a list of 10 things a teacher needs in their classroom! Treat this as a checklist that you need to be armed with before the start of the school year!
Things that you will need to effectively engage students:
- Lesson Plan
Unfortunately the lesson plans don’t write themselves! The most important thing a teacher needs is a detailed lesson plan, either a physical copy or a virtual one. Lesson plans are a must have to be a successful teacher, they keep you on track and also ensure that your classroom time is well utilised. A lesson plan is incomplete without an objective, group work, and individual work. You can look at different templates here and learn more about lesson planning here.
- Back-up Plans/Substitute Plans
While it is vital for students to have fun, it is equally important to ensure that their learning is not hampered. Having a substitute plan helps the substitute teacher engage students and ensures that learning is not hampered. Substitute plans can be related to the ongoing lesson or can be something you want students to learn and know about but haven’t found the time for. Know more about how to create back-up plans here.
- Collection of awards, badges and certificates
Students need to be motivated time and again, and what works better than awards and certificates! You can have a variety of awards and certificates for your classroom that will work as positive reinforcement tools, these awards and certificates don’t need to be related to student academic achievement, they can be more about their classroom behaviour, like “the kind kid”, “rockstar reader” etc, this will also ensure that your students are engaged in the class at all times. Find some create award templates here, alternatively you can also use Canva to create your own template.
- Classroom Library
Books, newspapers, magazines… these are all vital for the classroom. They may encourage your students to spend their free time reading instead of staring into space. Just remember to write your name on everything you want to hang on to! Here’s a list of must-have book categories in your library.
Things you will need to make your Classroom more student centric
- Classroom Contract
And so you build a classroom contract with them! A classroom contract between you and your students will transform your classroom for good. Build this contract by involving all the students to make it more effective, it must have class values, rules and expectations, and consequences. Classroom Contract will ensure that you spend more time on the learning and less on managing the classroom behaviour. Find a detailed process of making one here.
- Student Exhibit Space
Students need a space to exhibit all their work, irrespective of this being academic or unrelated. Apart from being spaces of visual reinforcement of learning, these exhibit spaces should create conversations about perspectives, innovative ideas, visual representations and more.
- Feedback and Suggestions Box
Feedback and suggestions from your students will support your teaching and their learning the most. Sometimes students struggle to voice their opinions and this box will give students a space to express their thoughts and ideas about the lesson they had. Imbibing their feedback in the classroom will make students feel important and result in better engagement and ownership. Another way to receive feedback is to include Changes and Suggestions on the Parking Lot corner in the classroom. Know more about it here.
- First Aid Box
A very vital part of the teacher resource is a first aid kit. The kit must have basics of first aid like bandages, antiseptic, cotton balls and qtips, thermometer, antiseptic cream, pain reliever spray, gel or balm, eyewash or artificial tears, and if dealing with adolescents, sanitary pads and/or tampons to keep the panic at bay!
- Student information book
A student information book, with all the information about students ranging from their favourite food to the allergies they may have, to their academic history, is essential for a successful teacher. This will come in handy not only when a student has fallen sick and the parents need to be called, but also when you want to do something special for your student. You can use the information you have to make personalised affirmation letters and to track their progress over the year.
- Snacks and water
Last but not least, a small pantry with your favourite snacks and water will come to your saviour when you forget to pick your breakfast! Also, you can lend some to a student who had to skip breakfast!
These are some of the items that will help you in being a purpose driven and empathetic teacher! One final tip, create a checklist of items that you think are important and check the status of these items on a monthly basis. Remember some of these are items that need to be refilled (snacks and water), some are items that need planning and preparation (lesson plans) and some are items that require constant tracking (badges and certificates)! We wish you the very best in your teaching journey!
And remember, being a teacher is being a rockstar!