A well supplied teacher resource room is one of the greatest blessings to the Bible class teacher. Several years ago in the congregation where we worshiped, several of us decided to develop a resource room. At the time we started, we had a building with three floors. In a junky basement room, you could find basic supplies like tape or paper. If you wanted a resource book, you would look in the library on the third floor. Classrooms were on the second and third floors. To say that things were disorganized and inconvenient would be an understatement!
So, where to start? Of course, we first spoke to the elders and got approval for the project. Next, we needed to do some homework. We checked with teachers to find out what they wanted and needed. I had articles from Idea Shop magazine that were great resources with thoughts on supplies and organization. Next, we came up with a list of goals and plans for the room. We compiled a list of necessary equipment and furnishings. Then, back to the elders with our proposed ideas and budget needs.
Once that was done, we needed a place. It had to be as accessible and centrally located as possible. It was decided that a classroom on the third floor, next to the children’s library and near most of the classrooms would work. The classroom was cleaned out and painted. One of our elders, who was also a contractor, had a man who could make cabinets come in to measure and start to work.
Ideally in a room that was larger than ours, you could have large work tables set up where several people could come to prepare materials. Our room was smaller and we didn’t have the width in the room to have that. We chose to have a wall with counter tops that went the length of the room. There we could put our copy machine, Cricut machine (die cuts), and laminator. We also had plenty of shelves for games and supplies.
In our clear plastic shoe boxes, we put all our basic classroom supplies like crayons, markers, and glue sticks, as well as craft supplies like pipe cleaners, felt, glitter, etc. Every box has been labeled and is alphabetized to make it easier to find materials.
We purchased these racks and hanging bags from a library supply website. The smallest bags contain bulletin board letters. Medium and large bags contain flip charts, bulletin board sets, games, and Abeka flashcards.
Our shelves were custom made to hold various sizes of construction paper. Some slots are made for 8 1/2 x 11 sheets, while others are made for the larger sizes.
Shown here are our file cabinets which contain files that go chronologically with the Bible. Every worksheet, craft idea, or teaching idea that fits into a category is placed in the file. Teachers who need a worksheet can find what they want, make copies, and return into the file of originals.
The amazing drawers on the right contain our Betty Lukens’ felt pieces. Drawers are shallow and contain about only a couple of pages each of felt pieces. The book that goes with the set is on top of the cabinet with a magnifying glass to see those tiny, little numbers!
I loved this idea. Our bulletin board paper came in rolls that would fit on the wall, so we didn’t have to use floor space to store it. The hooks were purchased at a home improvement store. They were originally for the purpose of holding a bicycle on the wall in the garage, but they were perfect for storing our paper!
As you walk into the room and turn to the left, we have a checkout area. There is a notebook where a teacher is to sign out materials taken from the resource room.
This is just one example of a well organized, well functioning resource room. I have seen ones that are smaller and some that are huge spaces. For me, the key is for it to be well organized and functional for those who use it. It takes a lot of time and dedicated individuals to create this type of space, but the benefits to teachers are immeasurable. Stay tuned for my next post for more information about how to set up a great teacher’s resource room!