So, what’s the best way to prep your home office space for maximum productivity and de-stressing? From tools to use, to relaxation necessities, your teach-from-home space will be designed to best cater to your personal and professional needs.
Organization is crucial for maintaining your WFH sanity and making the space inviting for those after-school relaxation sessions. We recommend keeping your desk supplied to mirror your normal classroom; make it easy on yourself so it feels natural and you don’t have to totally readjust. This consistency will help you to stay sane, supplied, and organized day-to-day. How to organize? We recommend things like cross-file folders for your drawers, a calendar for your desk or wall, and that beautiful Erin Condren planner. Hint: we use a second planner for our home lives.
Floating shelves with zen-friendly decorations such as figurines, photos of the fam, and plants will make you feel more at home and keep your students comfortable if you have a teaching day from the virtual classroom. Don’t be afraid to bring work home a little bit (unless you need that hard line of separation). You could even feature student artwork. Any way to make your office feel inspirational and real is a good step. It’s far too easy to make your at-home space look like Magnolia, but have zero personality. It’s more important to add life and color than it is to be Instagram-ready.
Add touches to your home classroom that make you feel relaxed. Whether it’s an essential oil diffuser, a pair of fuzzy slippers you keep under your desk, or an emergency snack supply (KIND bars always have a home in my top drawer) — staying comfortable and happy in your home office will keep you calm and energized to burn that midnight oil. Incorporate a color palette into your workspace that evokes positive emotions (studies have found that yellow raises your happiness hormones, and we could all use a little of that right now) and hang up some inspirational or funny quotes to make you smile. I’m going half Ron Swanson and half Rumi, but to each their own.
Keeping the tools you need on hand will ensure you don’t have those terribly frustrating moments: “I just started working and I don’t have paper clips.” Your favorite grading pen, stickers, a planner, lesson notes, as well as multiple monitors, a whiteboard, a laptop stand, and an adjustable standing desk can all make for a flexible and successful classroom that you can customize as needed. Want to get super-techy? Throw an extra monitor in the mix or an ultrawide for a really luxurious experience!
Armed with this advice, it’s time to perfect your home office, your zen space, your sanctuary. We’d love to hear from you and see how you structure your work-all-night space. Tag us on social media @teachempowered and #empoweredclassroom and we might choose you for a feature!