By Kate Berger
At JB’s Bright Beginnings we have 15 individual classrooms, which also means that we have at least 15 head teachers. Of course, each teacher has their own unique way of organizing and managing their classroom and we certainly do appreciate that! I was told a long time ago that there is more than one right way to do things. I agree with this statement completely, BUT… we all know that things can be a little easier when there is some consistency in our practices, especially when it comes to meeting state regulations.
During one of our past Department of Human Services (DHS) inspections, we were cited for a missing classroom posting. When I took a closer look at each classroom, I realized that the teachers chose different places to hang their daily schedule, emergency procedures, allergy list, classroom capacity sign, and so on. This led me to think about how we can do things better with regards to these postings. During a team meeting, we brainstormed and listed all of the various postings needed for DHS, Keystone STARS and our individual program. We then realized that there a pretty clear line separating what information is important to parents and what is important to teachers, so we were able to separate the postings. We divided all of these postings into important parent information and important classroom information. We had enough space in every classroom to have a parent information board and an important room information board. The parent info board we currently leave up to the teacher in the classroom. The important room info board though, because of the importance, we decided to make uniform in each classroom. These boards are organized in the same manner in every classroom and can be found as soon as you walk into a classroom and right near the door.
Our DHS walk through team was so excited to be able to find all of the necessary postings in one place during our bi-annual DHS self-inspections. Now, any teacher, assistant teacher, floater, or visitor is able to easily find the pertinent information needed for any drill or emergency no matter what classroom they are in. We also found this board to be useful for new staff so that they always know where to look when they are questioning a practice or procedure. Our seasoned staff has also reported that it is nice to refer to the board as needed. Our DHS representative loved it and found that she was able to save some time during our inspections and our ERS assessor asked us to write this blog, so she must agree! With the way the Important Room Info Board is organized, when something is missing or needs replace it is clearly noticeable and easy to maintain. Our teachers appreciate that.
Included on our important info board is our:
- Quick Reference Guide for Emergencies
- Emergency Medical Procedure
- Fire Exit Instructions
- Fire Exit Map
- Location of First Aid Kit Sign
- Maximum Room Capacity Sign
- Allergy List
- Classroom Schedule
Each teacher is free to organize their parent board, closets and learning centers as they wish to meet the needs of the children, families, and program in their classroom, but when it comes to the Important Room Info Board, we have found that it is best practice to keep it the same in every classroom!