Do you have a teacher desk?
I have vivid memories of my primary school teachers sitting in their desks while we wrote in journals or did Silent Sustained Reading time. Anyone else?
As a first year teacher, I thought that I needed a teacher desk. It seemed pretty standard to me. My room did not have a desk, but my neighbor teacher thought that was crazy and helped me figure out how to get one from maintenance. Seemed legit to me!
But the very next year, I was begging that same sweet maintenance man to remove the desk from my room. I got rid of my teacher desk and never missed missed it one bit. You can see pictures of my "deskless" classroom HERE.
Let me tell you why I got rid of my teacher desk and you should too!
A lot of teachers think that they need a desk because it will help them to keep the endless papers organized. But if you are being really honest with yourself, is your desk organized? Or is it just the place that you store the piles of papers that you might get to someday? Where would those papers be if you didn't have a desk? You would be forced to take care of them! I know that is scary, but it really is a stress reliever!
Being organized is tricky! Teaching requires so much paperwork and so many supplies. But the truth is that if you have a very limited amount of space for these papers- you will be forced to take care of them sooner. You will be forced to be more organized. You have no choice!!!
Instead of desk drawers that are stuffed with random office supplies, I organized all of mine in a toolbox. You can read more about how I put this toolbox together HERE. I also hung cups on the wall for my pens and pencils. It was unused space before and now students can't reach my Flair pens. ;-)
Instead of a desk covered in papers that need my attention, I use a teacher binder and this dish tub. If it doesn't fit in the tub, then I need to spend some time on the paperwork. It takes up very little space, is portable and forces me to keep on top of tasks rather than letting them sit on the desk.
I NEED things to be super organized and I have found a way to do this without a teacher desk. You can read more about how I organize my classroom by clicking on the picture below.
"Mrs. Sears! Come sit! You know you're tired. Your feet hurt. You deserve a break. Sit!" Does your teacher desk call to you like mine did? Sometimes I would sit at my desk during snack break or while my students were silently working. I didn't sit all day, but I did sit at the desk from time to time during the day.
I hate this meme because of the alcohol bottle, but the saying couldn't be more accurate, so I had to share.
As a teacher, we feel like we never sit. However, the moment that we do sit, admin walks in our room. At least that is how it seems.
Getting rid of the teacher desk means that you can't sit. At least you can't sit by yourself. You will have to sit at the small group table or kneel down by your students' desks. You will take your breaks with your students. You will have no choice! And it is WIN-WIN! Now that I do not have a desk, I find myself walking around the student desks and work areas more. I am giving more feedback, praise and direction! And when I am sitting, I find that I am sitting WITH my students.
Do you have room for a teacher desk in your classroom? Close your eyes and imagine what you could do with that space if the desk was removed. Could you add more bookshelves with books for students to read? Could you add some flexible seating, like bean bags or stools, for students to work from? Could you add more games and manipulatives? Could you have more floor space for class meetings and playing games?
A teacher desk is taking away valuable student space! Classrooms keep getting smaller, while class sizes seem to be increasing. (At least that is what is happening in schools in my area.) Is your space best used for students and their materials or for your desk? I don't mean to sound harsh, but I am suggesting that you really look at your space. I am proud to say that just about my entire classroom is set up to be used by my students!
Are you ready to take the plunge with me and ditch the desk?!!!