Do You Want to Ditch the Teacher’s Desk in the Classroom?
Attention, all educators, rebels, and mavericks! You may find yourself here because you are interested in some tips to ditch the Teacher’s Desk in the Classroom and look for teacher desk alternatives. Are you tired of being confined to the conventional, uninspiring teacher’s desk in your classroom? Do you desire a fresh, innovative approach to teaching and more classroom space overall, or perhaps to be a teacher with no desk? Well, you’ve come to the right place! In this blog post, we’re going to explore some unconventional tips and tricks to help you break free from the chains of that ancient wooden or metal teacher’s desk. It’s time to embrace a dynamic and interactive classroom environment that will leave your students engaged, inspired, and begging for more!
I was on the Ditch The Teacher’s Desk Journey
Many years ago, I was looking for a way to say goodbye to a teacher’s desk, too. Are you looking to rid of your teacher’s desk as well? Why? During my first year of teaching, I had a teacher’s desk because I thought I was supposed to. I never sat in it and it evolved into a catch-all for the things I didn’t have time to put away during the school day. My smart board was across the room and therefore, my computer wasn’t even on my teacher’s desk because it had to have a specific location to run the smart board. Essentially, the teacher’s desk was a time and space waster. But I needed to have some kind of teacher desk organization ideas for the items I did need that I would house on my desk.
I finally Said Goodbye to a Teacher’s Desk in the Classroom
During pre-planning, I made a bold move. I got rid of my teacher’s desk from my classroom, in 2004. At the time, I didn’t know of a single teacher who didn’t have a desk. I had seen a desk-free room during student teaching once in Pre-k and it made sense to not have one.
My custodian swore I would be asking for the teaching desk back. They are a pain to move and a pain to store. I know. He was super worried I would want it back and he would have to bring it. I knew they were a pain to move because I had moved that dang desk all over my classroom trying to find a space for it. It had to go.
What happened when I ditched the Desk?
What Was My Teacher Desk Ditching Result?
At the end of the year and even years later, I am so glad I got rid of that huge desk. This is still a messy area, but so much more functional for a busy, small Kindergarten room. The best part about losing the bulky desk is the increase of usable space in the classroom and taking advantage of the vertical space! I have a set location that students can’t reach!
Additionally, I did not ask for the desk back. I didn’t ask for it back that year, the year after, and more. A teacher’s desk was not returned to that room until I changed schools. In fact, when I changed schools, I asked for that desk to be removed from the classroom as well.
Do I regret when I finally did say goodbye to a teacher’s desk? Did I ever ask for it back? I am now in year 18 of teaching. The only time I used a teacher’s desk was during my first year and the year I taught fifth grade. Every year in Kindergarten I have been desk-less and I love it. I do not regret ditching the teacher’s desk. I am glad I went with my gut and found vertical storage options that met my needs.
Tips to Ditch the Teacher’s Desk in the Classroom
Here are some Tips to Ditch the Teacher’s Desk in the Classroom if you think this is for you.
Tip #1- Embrace the Power of Mobility
Who says you have to be anchored to a desk? Break free and embrace the power of mobility! Invest in a lightweight, portable desk or a rolling cart that can hold your essentials, like a Chromebook, notebooks, and pens. This way, you can move around the classroom freely, creating a more dynamic and engaging learning environment. Plus, it will give your students a refreshing change of scenery and help break the monotony of a static classroom setup. this may be ideal for upper elementary school teachers.
Tip #2- Immerse Yourself In Your Students
To truly understand your students’ experience, it’s essential to see things from their perspective. So, why not ditch the teacher’s desk altogether and sit amongst your students? By immersing yourself in their world, you’ll be able to better gauge their needs, provide personalized guidance, and foster a stronger teacher-student connection. Plus, you’ll eliminate the invisible barrier between teacher and student, creating a more collaborative and inclusive classroom environment. I can tell you how great of an impact this has made on my teaching and classroom feel.
Tip #3- Create Learning Stations
Think of your classroom as a vibrant marketplace of knowledge, where students can explore, discover, and learn at their own pace. Ditching the teacher’s desk allows you to transform your classroom into an interactive hub of learning stations because you now have even more room to dedicate to student spaces. Create dedicated areas for different activities, such as a reading nook, a collaborative group workspace, or a multimedia corner. This setup encourages student autonomy and promotes independent thinking while allowing you to move seamlessly between stations, guiding and facilitating their learning journeys.
Tip #4- Embrace Technology
In today’s digital age, technology is your best friend when it comes to ditching the teacher’s desk. Harness the power of educational apps, online resources, and interactive tools to facilitate learning without being confined to a physical workspace. Use tablets, laptops, or projectors to display content and conduct virtual lessons. With technology as your ally, the world becomes your classroom, and your students will be captivated by the endless possibilities that lie beyond traditional boundaries.
Now, you may need a dedicated computer to power such things as smart boards and such. We have a solution for you. To run our classroom smart board, you have to have a full computer plugged into a specific spot. Here is the area I used to house my computer, printers, and such. It is just a student desk between file cabinets. I recently upgraded to this Stand Up Desk with Storage. This makes a great teacher pod.
Tip #5- Trust Your Instincts
Breaking away from the teacher’s desk requires a certain level of audacity and trust in your abilities as an educator. Don’t be afraid to follow your instincts and try out new approaches. Experiment with different teaching methodologies, incorporate gamification, or adopt project-based learning. Your classroom should reflect your personality and teaching style, so have confidence in your vision and let it guide you in creating a space that inspires both you and your students.
Good for you for continuing to think outside the box! I am not able to get rid of my desk since our school doesn't have storage….but I am rethinking the space and functionality of my desk….thank you so much….I feel my avalanche days of paper piles on my desk are now numbered… 🙂
I was just thinking of doing the same thing today. I NEVER sit at my desk. I pile things on it and under it. It is a mess. I usually use my kidney shaped reading group table as my work area. I would love to get rid of my desk…not sure, what I would do with all my junk around it. It would be a huge job…maybe in June 🙂 I need a professional organizer!!!
I have definitely thought about doing away with my desk but my school is pretty strict I doubt my principal would allow it. But you're right, we hardly sit there & it does collect dust…lol! Glad it worked out for you 🙂
Color Me Kinder
JD's Rockin' Readers says
I do currently have a desk but I have plenty of space. In the school I previously taught at, I did the same thing!! I didn't miss it at all and it gave me so much more room! Why do we think we have to have a desk anyway?? LOL!
JD's Rockin' Readers
Mariann Brown says
I use my horseshoe reading table as a "desk" with a low shelf next to it. My computer is on one end and I have room for four or five kiddos to sit with me in flex group time. It has worked well so far!
I have a desk, but I am a resource room teacher so I spend countless hours writing IEPs and doing all the paperwork, data management and computer stuff that I need it. It is also my computer and projector space so it doubles. I also don’t ever have that many students and stuff (I am only a 2nd year teacher and in a bigish room)
I retired from public school 5 years ago. 6 weeks later, I accepted a position as lead Pre-K teacher in a private school. The classroom I went into had no desk. At first, I was apprehensive about where I would put my stuff. I have a tall bookshelf and use bins and those magazine boxes to store files. I really think it keeps me better organized and frees up so much space! I probably would not have willingly given up my desk but am so glad now!