Saturday, January 31, 2009

My Own Personal Issues

I have one coat closet in my classroom. For the first part of the year that was sufficient. Anytime my students needed to get into their backpacks it became a bit of a nightmare, but worked fairly well. Once winter hit and everyone was wearing heavy coats, it all fell apart. Students tossed backpacks and coats into our one coat closet and they spilled out everywhere. The coat closet is just inside our door so they were always in the way. It drove me insane. I had to do something about it before I starting throwing coats and backpacks into the hallway, immediately followed by their owners.

I got two big tubs and put them on the sides of the classroom for backpack storage. Two tables put their backpacks into one tub and the other two tables put their backpacks into the other. Sometimes these tubs are neater than this, but they at least contain the backpacks.

That left us plenty of room for coats. I'm slowly training the kids to hang their coats up on the back row of hooks if they are the first ones in. So far we've only had a few coats land on the floor throughout the day. There's also a basket hidden in their to hold hats, scarves, mittens, and other random cold weather necessities.

I'm not sure what it says about me that this was so critical to my sanity. Regardless, it has greatly improved my attitude throughout the school day. That's worth a lot.


Franki said...

Funny how those closets seem to be made for spring jackets! So obvious in the winter. I am not a neat freak but coats and backpacks falling off hooks has always made me nuts. Glad you found a solution!

Angela Watson said...

This type of thing is critical to my sanity, too. The tubs for backpacks idea works well. I did that when I taught up north. Now, in Florida, the kids don't have coats. It makes organizing their things SO much simpler.

On a side note, I also enjoy not having to fix broken zippers, search for lost mittens, and untangle scarfs. :-)

ya ya's mom said...

i wish i could do that with coats...we have lice issues from time to time so the kids keep their own coats and backpacks on the back of their chairs.

The Bus Driver said...

in our schools, most elementary schools have hooks for backpacks and jackets on the outside of the classroom, each student gets assigned a hook, it seems to keep the clutter down inside the classroom.

The alternative to this is hooks along one wall inside the classroom, which has also been done.

Anonymous said...

On getting them to use the back hooks first. I only had to take their backpacks off of the front row and throw them across the room a couple of times before they got the idea (more or less, sometimes they need a refresher)