Cleaning Tips to Prepare for the School Year
Back to school season is officially in full swing and that means teachers all over the country are preparing their classrooms for the buzz of activity from students of all ages. Soon, your classrooms are going to show major evidence of all the fun and learning that will happen – the whiteboard with phantom markings of math problems soon to come, sticky tape residue from hanging and re-hanging charts on the walls and glitter glistening on floors months after holiday craft projects have commenced.
If your classroom can use a little pick-me-up for the back to school season, we came up with a few ideas on how to keep it clean and organized! Here are a few classroom cleaning conundrums along with smart fixes that other teachers have learned over the course of their careers.
The Permanent Marker Problem
We’ve all been there. While trying not to take our eyes off the kid in the last row who, we’re pretty sure, is trying to sneak his phone out of the desk to start texting, we accidentally grab a permanent marker instead of a dry-erase one and write on the whiteboard with it! Don’t panic. All you need to do is scribble over the permanent markings with a regular dry-erase marker, like your trusty old Expos, and then wipe it off.
When Glitter Gets Everywhere
Glitter: the classroom gift that keeps on giving—even months after your last art project! We recommend using a lint roller to get rid of the sparkly stuff once and for all. As a cheaper alternative, we bet some heavy-duty masking tape would work just as well. If the thought of letting kids run wild with loose glitter gives you heart palpitations, ditch it altogether and invest in some glitter glue pens.
Leftover Markings on Your Whiteboard
Mr. Clean Magic Erasers aren’t just for walls and bathtubs—they work on tough whiteboard stains too! If you want to clean your whiteboard while simultaneously freshening the air in your classroom, try spraying on Febreze and wiping away. For a budget-savvy solution, rub on 91 percent alcohol: it makes your whiteboard look like new. And for those who want to avoid major whiteboard cleaning for as long as possible, trade in your regular whiteboard eraser for a microfiber cloth.
We know you’re out there … some of us still love using our good ol’ chalkboards (chalk dust and all!) in favor of whiteboards. If you’re still kickin’ it old-school, we recommend wiping your board with Coca-Cola (just be sure it’s not diet) to lift the chalk dust off, making it like new!
Smelly Trash Cans
From half-eaten tuna sandwiches to old banana peels, you never know what’s going to end up in your trash can. But one thing’s for sure—by midafternoon, the classroom trash can is never smelling its sweetest. Try putting a few drops of lemon essential oil on a cotton ball and placing it at the bottom of the trash can to get rid of the smell.
Whether you have graffiti artists on your hands or just some innocent note-taking mishaps, Sharpie and pen marks can be removed from desks. Hand sanitizer always does the trick! Also, if your desks are looking pretty grimy, clean them with shaving cream. It’ll make the desks look brand new!
Sticky Tape Residue
It’s pretty much a fact: From anchor charts to inspirational posters, we love hanging stuff on our classroom walls. The only downside? All that sticky tape residue that’s left behind when we move on to a new unit or decide to redecorate. We have two solutions: For a cheap fix, we use a hair dryer to melt gunk off the walls, and for really stubborn stickiness, we recommend spraying Goo Gone.
Use these tips to help prepare your classroom for the school year and cleanup will be easy to do! Make back to school season fun instead of tedious. No teacher wants to dread the return of students. Preparing your classroom for the season is the best way to ensure an exciting school year!