This week, Wendy Couture, the district’s safety and risk reduction manager, shares information about how to create a safe classroom, even with limited space.
One of the biggest hazards to safety is clutter. You may find you need many items in your classrooms for activities and lessons but are not sure what to do with it all. Like last week’s blog on organizing your storage or workspace closet your room or workspace needs to be just as organized. Not only does clutter put a stop to the efficient flow of lessons and activities, but also it adds new opportunity for danger to any task. Having clutter could very easily hurt an employee or student. Having floors strewn with backpacks or binders can lead to injuries. Anything you can do to minimize this hazard and keep these areas clear will improve the overall safety, quality and efficiency of anyone working or learning in these areas.
Backpacks and binders
I know you have heard this before but utilizing bins and containers can transform a space from a cluttered mess into a streamlined learning area. Loose items such as backpacks, binders, coats and extra clothes can be put into bins or hung up in designated areas. This is not just good organization, but a good safety practice as well. Uncontained items can easily move into walking paths that may block things like safety equipment or exits.
This allows you and your students to move freely around the room without the potential from falling over items left on the floor or which have been kicked out into the aisle way.
Coats and clothing
Coats and extra clothing like umbrellas and extra P.E. clothes can also add to the clutter. Is there a place for students to safely place their items during class? Do they have to put them under their desk or beside their desk? Can they be stored on hangers on the wall nearby? It is important to think about how these items can affect the safety of the people in the room when planning storage options. Another thing to think about is if the OSD warehouse has storage closets or bins that are available to help store these items in your class.
Desks and chairs
Are desks and chairs arranged in the classroom so that you and your students can move freely between them without having to “squeeze” by? It is important that the chairs and tables are arranged in a fashion that best utilizes the space safely. Making sure the students tuck in their chairs when they leave the classroom helps create a safer space.
Being organized is never easy and getting organized with 20 plus students can be even harder. Let’s help each other out! Do you have something organizational that has worked for you in your classroom or work space? If you have ideas that you can share with other staff please forward them to firstname.lastname@example.org so that your organizational ideas can get out to others who may find them useful. I will compile shared ideas and send them out to all staff. This can help everyone find a way to organize his or her space for safety and efficiency.