Monday, October 19, 2015

Evaluating your Environment

Every so often it's a good idea to take an objective look at your classroom environment.  Do you have everything in your room that you should have in your room? Are the children actually able to access the materials? Does the room feel warm and inviting, or is it a bit too cluttered and chaotic? It can be really difficult to be objective about your space, and that's why I'm a fan of the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS-R).

These have become a pretty popular tool in my state because programs are required to have a copy for our Quality Rating and Improvement System, but until recently I hadn't actually spent much time looking through them.  As the teacher, it is easy to look at your room and say, "I know I need to do that, I'll get to it eventually" or "I know I don't have this out right now, but the children are really into this at the moment."  But when you go through a tool like the ECERS and answer all of the questions, it becomes pretty clear which areas you could work on, which makes improving your classroom a little easier to handle, because you have a clear picture of exactly what needs done.

There are also Environment Rating Scales available for Infant/Toddler Classrooms, School-Age Classrooms, and Family Child Care Settings.  If you're curious how your classroom would score, or maybe you're looking to improve your classroom and want some guidance, I strongly suggest completing one of these tools.  You might be surprised to find some strengths that you didn't realize you had!

* All product links are affiliates. This post was not sponsored by the ERS, it is a tool that I am familiar with and have used in the classroom. 

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