Six clever classroom hacks

Turn your tired classroom into a pedagogical paradise with these nifty tricks from Grainne Hallahan

Grainne Hallahan

Six hacks to improve your classroom

If an Englishman’s home is his castle, a teacher’s classroom is their palace.

You spend the majority of your waking hours there, so it’s understandable that you want to have things just right.

Quick read: Why a classroom culture of kindness is so important

Quick listen: Why we need more hands-on learning in schools

Want to know more? How schools can address social inequality

Here are some ideas to hack your way to a grade 9 classroom.

Tape on the floors to stop tables moving

A tweet from @MrHtheteacher showcased some Jedi mind trick-level classroom management.

One roll of black masking tape, and you’re good to go. No more tripping over table legs when the front row have inched their way across the room.

Bulldog clips for blinds

If you’ve ever felt exasperated about the gaps in your blinds when you’re trying to show a film or slideshow, a few bulldog clips should solve your problem by pinching the curtains shut.

Shoe organiser beside the whiteboard

Easy to hang up, and full of helpful see-through pockets, a shoe organiser hung next to the board makes it easier to check your classroom essentials will be to hand before you start your lesson.

The perfect place to keep all your classroom essentials – no more scrabbling around for your projector remote.

And if you share your classroom, it may stop you losing your temper with the teacher who never puts things back where you left it.

Make it hard to get it wrong by labelling up the pockets so there is no doubt where everything needs to go back.

Key dates board

Mini-whiteboards are easy to come by in school and easily fixed to the wall (ask your site staff), so are perfect for a semi-permanent display.

Use it for information you will only change occasionally: where you’re collecting in books, what day your duty is on, when homework is due and so on.

Teacher toolbox

Forget hammers and spanners, fill your toolbox with glue sticks, scissors and spare exercise books.

If you don’t have your own classroom, this will save you traipsing from room to room with arms full.

Sticking everything you need for a lesson in a toolbox makes it much easier to survive the day when you’re roaming all over the school.

Wireless doorbell

If you teach in primary, or in a more practical secondary subject like drama, art, or design and technology, then there will be times where the noise reaches a point where quieter teachers might struggle to be heard.

If you’ve tried the old "switching lights on and off" and hands up to show you’re listening, and have exhausted those methods, then a wireless doorbell might be your saviour.

You can even stick the buzzer on the back of your lanyard and change the tone to signal different activities.

Grainne Hallahan is the senior content writer at Tes

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Grainne Hallahan

Grainne Hallahan

Grainne Hallahan is Tes recruitment editor and senior content writer at Tes

Find me on Twitter @heymrshallahan

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