No teacher desk?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by AKitchin, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. AKitchin

    AKitchin Companion

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    Those of you who have moved from having a teacher's desk, to not (like Debbie Diller says) how has that worked? I am considering doing that since I have SUCH a small room, and currently TWO teacher's desks... Do you use your reading table for those desk duties? I use my computer A LOT for my SMART board (where I keep notebook files for all of my science lessons) any ideas on how you've made this work? I really want to, but it seems hard to part with my desk!
     
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  3. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Being a Montessori teacher, I've never had a desk. I have a closet where I keep all of my files, and I have a cabinet for storage of things I need to keep on hand like stapler, pens/pencils, etc.
     
  4. mom2mikey

    mom2mikey Cohort

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    I'm thinking to get rid of my desk this year as I have never used it and in the end it just gets things piled on it. Without a desk I am hoping that things get put away. I think the key is to find a home for everything that would typically be on your desk and make sure you put things away.
     
  5. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I'll use my table as needed for a writing area, but I have a rolling10 draw unit (metal frame, small-bright colored drawers) that holds my pens, pencils, etc. I didn't put anything on the table. My biggest issue with getting rid of mine was the storage. I never used the top (it was always covered in "stuff"). If you don't want to get rid of the desks, maybe you can convert them to have the tops empty, or almost empty and let them become center station (writing, etc) for the kids. That way you will have them, but thye are no longer just for you.
     
  6. teachgrade5

    teachgrade5 Comrade

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    I got rid of my desk last year. I am so glad I did. It was just a place to throw things. I use my reading group table as my desk. I try very hard to keep it clean, but I tend to stack things. I have been working very hard on kicking this habit. It is one of my goals for next school year. Overall, I am glad I got rid of my desk.
     
  7. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    I am so tempted, but like you the computer is an issue.
     
  8. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    I haven't had a desk in 3 years and can't see myself going back. Like Tracy, I use a closet for some storage (it will also be used as a recording studio for the students this year). As for supplies, I use what the kids use- we have community supplies so the is a drawer for scissors, highlights, ect. I have a few jars of teacher only supplies in the closet. I'll post pictures later!
     
  9. turtlegirl

    turtlegirl Companion

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    I got rid of my desk last year too. Instead I bought 2, 3-drawer filing cabinets and I kind of use it as a makeshift desk... love not having a real desk!
     
  10. mom2mikey

    mom2mikey Cohort

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    Jem - that is exactly where we are at. Supplies are communal and then I have some in my drawer that are for "staff only" (I have myself and nine learning assistants in my room) but I'm thinking I could easy put that in a bin and move it to the closet that is "staff only".
     
  11. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    We also have communal supplies. I keep a cup of adult scissors and pens up high where the kids can't reach them.
     
  12. AKitchin

    AKitchin Companion

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    Thank you all for such great ideas. I think I am ready to ditch the desk. I really dont use the drawers much and I do just pile crap on the surface, which I then unbury to get to my computer.

    Im going to "hopefully" be able to get into my room next week. Would anyone be willing to give me any ideas if I take some pictures of the space? It will be my second year in this room (I was in a smaller room for two years before that) and I am still getting the hang of it! I was finally in a good position in my old room when the bigger one opened up, so I jumped at it!
     
  13. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    A bigger space is always a good thing!
     
  14. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    I'm thinking about moving mine out, but haven't done much more than think about it. I do like having a few personl items on it but other than that it's a junk catcher.
     
  15. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I really organized mine this summer, and I'm hoping that helps me use it better! I have a big room, so I'm not short on space. If I keep it tidy, it should be a better work area for me :)
     
  16. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I have a small 4 foot table that holds my computer and my document camera. It's the perfect size. I can't put things on it or they get in the way, it won't let me stack! :)
     
  17. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    A 4th-grade teacher at my school did this (she has a small computer desk still), and she likes it.

    I don't think I can part with my desk...I keep it clean and use it a lot to plan. I'm 5'9" so using my kindergarten-sized small group table would probably kill my back!
     
  18. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    Ironic. I too just read that DD book and decided to ditch my desk this year. I see myself making piles on the small group work table that I'll be using though... bad bad bad So I guess now the question is, how do I prevent the small group work table from becoming my old desk? :D
     
  19. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I plan to clear off my desktop every night before I leave. I will sort papers into three baskets: Take Action, File, Outbox (send to office, mail, etc.). One night a week I will put away any piles I have.
     
  20. AKitchin

    AKitchin Companion

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    I got rid of my file cabinets two years ago, I didnt like them and didnt use them. I may purchase a small two drawer one, but I have a file cart that I can keep important papers in. (currently it is a place to pile stuff) I hate piles!! UGH!

    Im considering getting some more plastic drawers to hold papers and stuff.

    What have you used for your classroom?

    Currently in my desk:
    Top Left: Teacher odds and ends (scissors, pencils etc)
    Middle Left: Post its and notepads
    Bottom Left: ????

    Top Right: pencils for kids
    Bottom Right: small treats (got rid of the treats though, mouse problem! ick) and trinkets as rewards...

    I know i dont need it if Im barely using it, right?!
     
  21. Lynn K.

    Lynn K. Habitué

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    I can't imagine getting rid of my desk! I use it for planning, and it's super organized so I can find everything in an instant.

    I also use it as an incentive/reward: "Sit in the Teacher's Desk for a Day."
     
  22. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    I had a desk during my first year of teaching and then I got rid of it for my second year of teaching. I still had a desk, but it was more of a counter space that had room for a chair too.

    I found that because I didn't have a real desk that I tended to work with the students more often than just sitting down as they were working. I would just grab my teacher chair (which was on wheels) and move around the classroom--- I found that being at the students' height to be better (I'm close to 6 foot tall) and they were more open to communicating with me (I taught 5th grade).

    So yes it saved room (though I had a large classroom), allowed me to work with my students more often instead of being tempted to sitting down, and is something I'm planning on continuing at the new school.

    Organization was not an issue because I had cabinets to use. If you need something for your laptop when using your SmartBoard, I've seen teachers buy one of those plastic organizers with drawers that comes with wheels and place their laptop on top of it.

    Like this one...
    [​IMG]
     
  23. AKitchin

    AKitchin Companion

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    Thats a great idea for the cart, if only I had a laptop at work :) I can somehow fit it in!
     
  24. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I must have a desk. It's organized and I don't sit it all day. I do, though, use it far too frequently before and after school and during planning to not have it.
     
  25. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    exactly. My computer is near my promethean board so I can use it there. I haven't had a teacher desk since my first year and didn't use it then either.
     
  26. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    I don't use a desk. I do have a built in computer hutch. I plan at my group table. My group table is not too low. I'm 5'10 but my table is not set to its lowest. I have bigger chairs for my kids so the table is at the right height. My table has to stay clear. I do have a bucket with file folders. 1 is to keep random papers (either from office or teammates) that must be filed by the end of the week. Another one contains papers that need immediate action (that day). I keep this bucket under the computer hutch.
    I have my special Vista Print pen with my name on it that only I can use and I keep a pencil nearby.
    I have a little plastic shelf under the computer hutch with baskets that hold paper clips, tacks, stamps, stickers, rubber bands, notepads, etc.
     
  27. Scout About

    Scout About Rookie

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    I decided this summer to ditch my desk in order to maximize working space in my small room. Like others have mentioned, I will use those plastic carts with multiple drawers to hold the stuff that used to be in my desk. My Elmo/Smartboard cart houses my laptop, so I'm in luck there. I'm also planning to get rid of the student computers in my room. The table they are on is huge, they rarely work, and when they do, they are so ridiculously slow - just a total waste of time. We'll see how it goes!
     
  28. goingtogigi

    goingtogigi Rookie

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    I don't have a desk either. I keep my elmo, projector and a laptop on a rolling cart along with buckets of pencils, pens, crayons, glue stick, dry erase markers, etc... (for me to use only). I also keep a laptop at my guided reading table to keep my notes as my groups change. I love having the extra room!
     
  29. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    No desk. So much better! Two sets of plastic drawers, a taller and shorter one, are used for my organization near my table.
     
  30. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I also do not use a traditional desk. I use my guided reading (kidney), or teacher table for planning. Like Lynn, mine is set to a higher setting, and we have taller chairs for the kiddos to use. I use my personal laptop on a sterlite cart next to my teacher table. I have my electric pencil sharpener and other "non-student" items on or in sterlite carts that are behind my teacher table. Unfortunately, I do not have a laptop for my smartboard - I have a desktop computer. This year, I am going to try to find a smaller cart - the "overhead projector" carts are waaayy too big, and a student-sized desk is too small to hold it all (plus it is too short for me).
     
  31. aThriftyTeacher

    aThriftyTeacher Rookie

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    I think I'm getting rid of my desk this year too! It just seems to be a source of clutter and I don't spend much time at it. This way, I'll free up more room in my class for centers activities.
     
  32. cutelilram

    cutelilram Rookie

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    I didn't have a desk for the first two years of teaching. I kept all of my papers and supplies in a closet at the back of the classroom. Then, I switched schools and there was one of those over sized teacher desks and it became, as Debbie Diller points out, a junk collector. I mentioned to some of my peers that I was thinking of requesting that it be removed from the room because I never sat at it or really used it. My peers were not happy about that since most of them like their desks and were worried that my request would start a new trend at the school.

    So I took my desk and turned it into my Science Center. I store science materials in the drawers and post two chart papers on the front of the desk, one for What I Now Know and the other for What I Still Have Questions About. The students write on post-it notes and stick their questions and statements about learning on the appropriate charts. Also, the top of the desk is used to set up experiments and lay out materials for the students to use.
     
  33. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    The desk got moved out this summer. Waste of space for me. I plan at home. In the morning, I visit with my teacher friends. I just didn't need it.
     
  34. Irma

    Irma Companion

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    I haven't had a desk for many years- don't really sit at a desk-I'm all over the place in my room whether it be the reading table or classroom library- the space is used for my writing area instead-
     
  35. Irissa

    Irissa Cohort

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    My teachers desk sat kitty corner in the corner where the TV was hung. We had to have something underneath it so students wouldn't stand there and it was my only magnetic space in the class. I used it as a poetry center.
     
  36. passionateacher

    passionateacher Comrade

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    No desk last year (my choice). I also used the guided reading table if I needed to rest my legs for a moment or before/after school to do some clerical tasks. But I am a stacker and had to remove things DAILY just to prevent piles. It beats having a desk with DRAWERS to place/forget about things! I don't ever want a desk again. I can't imagine where in the world I'd fit one if I had to keep it in my class now!
     
  37. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Eek. My desk is my sanctuary. No kids allowed. I'm also OCD when it comes to organization, so my desk is always neat. I use it extensively for planning & grading after school. During the day I'm moving around the room, so it pretty much just holds whatever supplies I need for the day. I'm going to try really hard not to take anything home this year (other than tests and essays, of course).

    Now, the top of my large filing cabinet is a different story - that's where all the misc. papers I get throughout the day end up.
     

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