Of filing cabinets and a more minimalist classroom in general

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Backroads, Jul 27, 2016.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,220
    Likes Received:
    1,574

    Jul 27, 2016

    So today marked the first day this summer I've actually wandered into my classroom. Cleaning/paint crews come in during the summer, so the furniture was more or less in chaos. As I tried to decide how I wanted to arrange the furniture this year I finally looked at my filing cabinet and realized it sure took up a lot of space for being a glorified set of drawers.

    Here's the deal: I will possibly have as many as 28 kiddos and my classroom is pretty darn small. I also don't like clutter. Because I used one drawer of the filing cabinet last year because I told myself I would, I'm seriously considering checking to see if anyone else in the school wants it.

    My questions/points of discussion:
    1. How many of you still use a filing cabinet? Why do you use it, how do you use it, or what do you use in its place?
    2. Does anyone have any tips for streamlining furniture space in a tiny room with a teacher who loves empty space?
     
  2.  
  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    9,452
    Likes Received:
    2,355

    Jul 27, 2016

    I use a lateral file cabinet, two drawers, and it is low enough to use as a room divider, hold stuff that should be out, and big enough to hold almost as much as I had in a bigger file cabinet. Best feature, IMO, is that I can roll my chair to it, access both drawers easily, which encourages me to put everything back when I am done. I fought hard for it, but it is my favorite teacher tool (other than that heavy duty electric pencil sharpener that I love!)

    Can't you just shrink the kids so they take up less space? :cool:
     
    Backroads likes this.
  4. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    1,180

    Jul 27, 2016

    [​IMG]
     
    miss-m, yellowdaisies and Backroads like this.
  5. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,653
    Likes Received:
    232

    Jul 27, 2016

    I actually don't have a filing cabinet. I had one last year, but I didn't use it for files - just for STUFF. I'm planning to house student files in a plastic crate or file box in a cabinet this year. I don't have anything else to file. I am 100% digital. I hate paper. Hate it.

    I'm with you. I have 32 students, so I try to have the least amount of stuff possible. The only exception is books. I like to have lots of books. :) I also hate clutter. Here's what works for me:
    - No teacher desk. I have a laptop so I do not need it.
    - Students have tables instead of desks (take up way less room). I also went to flexible seating and weirdly that takes less room than traditional.
    - I just don't keep stuff, and I have no qualms about throwing things away.
    - If I MUST have paper, it's in containers (I use scrapbook containers to store math station materials) or manilla envelopes, or page protectors in a binder, literally anything else other than a file cabinet.
    - I use Google Drive A LOT, for everything.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  6. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2014
    Messages:
    509
    Likes Received:
    204

    Jul 27, 2016

    I don't have a filing cabinet right now but I've actually been thinking about getting a filing cabinet and removing my teacher desk. The cabinet would hold everything I have in my desk and take up a lot less space. I never sit at it during class and even when I'm working during planning period or before/after school, I always spread out on a student table. My desk just collects junk.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  7. mkbren88

    mkbren88 Cohort

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Messages:
    524
    Likes Received:
    15

    Jul 27, 2016

    I have two tall four drawer filing cabinets that were in my room when I moved in last year. I'm pretty sure one is almost empty except for some stuff the old teacher left so now that I'm thinking about it, I might see if someone else wants it. It doesn't take up a ton of space but if I'm not utilizing it, I'd rather it go to someone who might. The one is full though.
     
  8. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,677
    Likes Received:
    445

    Jul 27, 2016

    I have four filing cabinets (only 3 last year but an extra one magically appeared over the summer). One stores construction paper in 3 drawers; one for the small sheets, two for the large sheets since I have to lay them flat. The other two drawers store extra trash bags and various craft items. One filing cabinet stores my teacher guides/ print resources. One drawer per subject (I teach all subjects). The third stores out required class novels and related short reads (1 module per drawer). I could use bookshelves for these, but I don't enough shelves, and if I got more, it would block more wall space making it hard to hang anchor charts.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  9. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,814
    Likes Received:
    1,408

    Jul 27, 2016

    For you and others who have gotten rid of their desks, how did you manage that - was admin okay with it, and what happened to your old desk? Everyone at my school has a desk, but mine mainly serves to collect piles of papers I don't need.
     
  10. BreezyGirl

    BreezyGirl Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    7

    Jul 27, 2016

    I have a couple filing cabinets in my room. The one by my desk is used for student files, permissions slips, Scholastic, anything that is form related. Where it's located, it doesn't take up much useable space. The other cabinet is a larger one which I actually like having. The top 2 drawers are free right now. But the other 2 I use all the time. One is designated for construction paper. I have hanging folders in them which makes it easy to separate colours. The other drawer is used for my students scrapbook pages. Each student has a hanging folder where I put their art, poems, etc... When we work on scrapbooks, they go to their folder and all of their work is in one place.
     
  11. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,814
    Likes Received:
    1,408

    Jul 28, 2016

    Oh, also, to answer the original question:

    I file nothing! I have maybe one manilla folder in my desk with IEPs, and a folder to keep scholastic orders in. Everything else goes either in a binder, or better yet, in Google Drive. I keep as much as possible online.
     
    yellowdaisies likes this.
  12. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    9,452
    Likes Received:
    2,355

    Jul 28, 2016

    I file all issues of Scholastic magazines (we have a rolling population, so they are resources I use many times), ReadWorks, NewsELA, Movie worksheet packets, IEPs, data sheets, copies of all write ups, Science for Students articles, with their comprehension questions I create, and all student work. My students have no access to the internet, and I have no access to Google Drive at work, so not so digital in my world. I have to save student work, especially since I will have different subjects in the same class. I have to have copies of work available on very short notice for residential students who are consequenced with any form of suspension, so that they are ready to get to the teacher or para who will be with them for the day. Also, I teach grades 7-12, so large spread. I thought the lateral file would be better, and I can say that I use it better. Is it for teachers who are minimalists? Probably not, but it serves my need.
     
  13. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,464
    Likes Received:
    1,344

    Jul 28, 2016

    It's been at least ten years since I have used a teacher desk. I use a kidney table for small groups and to do my own work. I store teacher supplies in plastic drawers behind the table. The P's I have worked for have actually not minded when I gave up the desk. They could then give it to a new teacher and not have to buy one.
     
  14. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,875
    Likes Received:
    102

    Jul 28, 2016

    I keep my resource books and teacher's manuals in a drawer.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  15. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,220
    Likes Received:
    1,574

    Jul 28, 2016

    In the past I have loved my teacher desk. It also serves as a platform for the computer and ipad to hook up to the screen.

    But I possibly could get rid of it.
     
  16. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,814
    Likes Received:
    1,408

    Jul 28, 2016

    Mine holds my computer too, so it would be hard to get rid of. But, it takes up so much space.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  17. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,653
    Likes Received:
    232

    Jul 29, 2016

    I moved into an empty classroom that didn't have a teacher desk. My admin asked if I wanted one, and I said I didn't. So I never actually had to deal with getting rid of one. It would NOT have been ok at my old school, though.
     
    Backroads and otterpop like this.
  18. TeachCafe

    TeachCafe Comrade

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2015
    Messages:
    258
    Likes Received:
    28

    Jul 30, 2016

    I'm getting rid of mine. I have two. One is full of LLI stuff. There's 3 on each grade level in an ELA classroom and I'm one of the lucky ones. It barely gets opened. The other I just use for....stuff and to chunk the bazillion tests and scantrons after we test them to death through the year.


    I want to put those in one of those milk carton crates but I still for the life of me cannot put hanging file folders in one of those things. They get stuck, the fall and it's just frustrating.
     
    Backroads and vickilyn like this.
  19. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    9,452
    Likes Received:
    2,355

    Jul 30, 2016

    Wow, I thought that was just me! Maybe I am not the klutz I thought I was - OK, still a klutz, but not as "milk carton crate" challenged as I thought. :)
     
    Backroads and TeachCafe like this.
  20. TeachCafe

    TeachCafe Comrade

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2015
    Messages:
    258
    Likes Received:
    28

    Jul 30, 2016

    I'm embarrassed to even ask someone I know! I'm glad it's not just me! I've thrown away hanging files just getting them all folded up trying and just getting so frustrated I trash them.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  21. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    9,452
    Likes Received:
    2,355

    Jul 30, 2016

    We could start a club, or anonymous support group.
     
    TeachCafe and Backroads like this.
  22. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    435

    Jul 30, 2016

    Haven't had a teacher desk in years. I use a small a half width cardboard type table next to the whiteboard for my computer, document camera, and 1 students' group of supplies. I have never missed my desk.

    Admin likes that some of us do not use the desks.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  23. monkeyrun

    monkeyrun Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2014
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    19

    Jul 31, 2016

    Otterpop, the first time I got rid of the desk, a few other teachers did, as well. We didn't even ask admin. :p I think at first she was going to tell us to put them back, but that would have been more work. Plus, one of the teachers was one of "those" teachers, so since she did it I think it was ok. (And she couldn't let one teacher do it and not the rest of us.) Then the school started getting more kids and needing more classrooms, so there were teachers who wanted the desks so it all worked out. I also got rid of my filing cabinets. There's been one year in my career where I haven't changed rooms, and I change grade levels almost as much, so I just don't keep things. Now I'm in a district that uses Google Docs so I try to keep anything I think is good on there.

    When I came to my new school, there wasn't a desk in there so it wasn't a problem. There was a filing cabinet in there, and I used one drawer to hold my colored paper (I separate it into files organized by color). I'd ask to get it moved out, but I'm still feeling new at this school so I'll wait another year before I ask for that!
     
  24. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    Messages:
    1,019
    Likes Received:
    442

    Jul 31, 2016

    New plan since I have to use desks for potentially 25 kids and I want to have floor room for Daily 5. XD
     
    otterpop likes this.
  25. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    13,828
    Likes Received:
    1,652

    Aug 1, 2016

    All teachers are given a 4-drawer file cabinet. For many years, mine was crammed full. Now, it's mostly empty (I've all but eliminated paper files) and holds movies, bulletin board letters, seasonal decorations, etc). The classroom that I'm in now has tables instead of desks, and I'm using one of the student tables as my desk. It's larger than the teacher desks we are provided and it's much easier for me to reorganize my room.
     
  26. TeachCafe

    TeachCafe Comrade

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2015
    Messages:
    258
    Likes Received:
    28

    Aug 1, 2016

    I got rid of my desk. I had a big, honking 5 drawer desk that was stuffed with nonsense. The best thing it did was hold my lunch supplies (salt/pepper, paper towels, plates, utensils, etc) and the rest was junk.

    A handle came off on one of the draws in May so I knew it needed to go. I'm going to desk shop around the hallways and find a decent table I can use.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. vickilyn,
  2. agdamity,
  3. Jioconde
Total: 473 (members: 3, guests: 449, robots: 21)
test