Some of the most important work of teaching takes place before the first day of school. Each week, we'll be sharing fantastic tips to give you some great ideas for the school year ahead!

Back-to-school Tip #1: Make the Physical Layout of Your Classroom Reflect Your Teaching Style.

Warm, well-run classrooms begin with the room’s physical layout – the arrangement of desk and working space, the appeal of classroom decorations, and the storage of materials and supplies.

Your teaching style should be reflected in the physical layout of your classroom. The right seating arrangement can help you make the most of this precious teaching time. If you want students to collaborate in small groups, for example, organize them around tables or clusters of desks. For frequent whole-group discussions, try a circle or U-shaped desk configuration. If you plan on an individualized, self-paced curriculum, you might set up learning stations.


But no matter how you arrange desks, don’t be afraid to make changes. Rearranging the furniture to support positive student interactions is essential from the first day of school through the rest of the year.

And don't forget to have fun with arranging your classroom! The physical layout should also reflect YOU! Don’t hesitate to give the room your personal touch with plants, art, rugs, posted and maybe some cozy pillows for the reading corner.

For more back-to-school ideas and helpful tips check out these resources:

The New Teacher’s Complete Sourcebook: Grades K-4

Classroom Management: 24 Strategies Every Teacher Needs to Know

Learning to Teach...not just for beginners