Whether you’re just feeling disorganized or want to get more creative about your teacher desk, we can help! Here are some teacher desk ideas that will help you think outside the box and solve your organizational problems. You might also like some of our teacher desk alternatives!
As an Amazon Associate, I earn pennies on the dollar every time you click one of my links. There’s no added cost to you. Read more here (although it’s pretty boring!)
What should a teacher put on their desk?
While individual needs vary based on technology preferences, teachers should consider having the following items on their desk or whatever space they use for administrative tasks:
- a desktop or laptop computer
- document camera (this depends on the technology needs of the classroom and district spending)
- preferred writing utensils with easy access
- notebook or spiral
- sticky notes
- vertical paper organizer for those few documents that aren’t online yet
The top of a teacher’s desk needs lots of empty space to work, unless there are two different workspaces in the classroom. For example, some people like to set up a technology hub at the front of the room, and a larger workspace in the back of the room for actually getting work done.
It’s best to keep all the knick-knacks, cutesy decor, and student supplies in a separate space from where you have to answer emails, lesson plan, and complete your desk work. Read more about having a teacher toolbox nearby.
How do you keep a teacher’s desk organized?
Near your desk, consider having a teacher toolbox that holds all the other doodads you might need each day, but don’t necessarily want sitting on your desktop creating clutter. Here are some items you might want in a teacher toolbox:
- paper clips
- binder clips
- binder rings
- rubber bands
- Mr. Sketch markers (or preferred anchor chart marker)
- rubber bands
- bandaids and antibiotic ointment
- vaseline and Q tips for chapped lips
- command strips
- student reward coupons
Making a teacher toolkit is easy; all you need is the toolbox, your favorite color of spray paint, and labels from Teachers Pay Teachers. See buttons below the image for links!
This one stop organization shop will keep all the clutter and mess at bay.
You’ll also want a paper filing system for all the work that isn’t done via Google Classroom, Seesaw, or other educational platforms. Most teachers prefer to use a colorful paper organizer on wheels.
What can I use instead of a teacher desk?
Teacher desks are often not the best use of space. On our campus, we have clunky, old wooden teacher desks, and many teachers choose to just remove them from the room. Here are some alternative teacher desk ideas that might make better use of the space:
- Kidney table with storage units nearby
- Bookshelf for an inexpensive standing desk
- Laptop cart
- Traditional standing desk
- Apron or fanny pack
- Utility carry-all bag
Where is the best place to put a teacher’s desk?
Most of us need our work computers to have easy access to the SmartBoard in the classroom, so you’ll want to set up shop right by the front of the room.
If you teach elementary, you’ll probably want your teacher desk near the front of the room so you can access certain materials from the carpet or rug, where students gather for mini-lessons.
However, some teachers prefer to set up a mini work station at the front of the room that’s more like a technology hub, using a standing desk or the top of a bookshelf. Then, they’ll have a more elaborate work space set up at the rear of the room. See photo examples below.
What are some fun teacher desk ideas?
Here are some creative, outside-the-box approaches to setting up a teacher desk. These teacher desk ideas might give you more space in your classroom, or a better organizational set up.
Use a rolling bookcase as a teacher workspace.
Ms. Slavik uses a rolling bookcase as a desk that she found elsewhere in the building. It’s not a large workspace, but it’s just perfect for her desktop and document camera, plus all the tools she needs for a mini lesson at the carpet. As a bonus, these bookcases have room for books, ipads or other group materials.
At the back of the room, she has a kidney table for pulling small groups and getting administrative tasks done.
Cover ugly teacher desk fronts with curtains.
The front of this desk is hideous, and sometimes desks will have unsightly cords connecting to SmartBoards, too. Buying some inexpensive, fun fabric can solve that problem, and provide a way to hide cords.
This desk allowed for a tension rod, but lots of teachers will just use a thick line of hot glue instead. That works, too!
Make use of magnetic surfaces near the teacher’s desk.
This is a bit messy looking (it’s my own work space), but my desktop stays clear and useful to me. I don’t have all my knick-knacks taking up space because I’ve got magnet hooks to maximize vertical space. These magnet hooks work on most whiteboards, too.
Use contact paper to cover unsightly desk tops.
Contact paper can brighten up your space, which is pretty great if you’ve got beaten up old wooden desks like our campus. On the other hand, use caution and make sure your paper isn’t too overwhelming for your eyes! Here are two fun examples.
Pair a rolling cart with a standing desk to save space and stay organized.
This teacher had a pretty small standing desk for presenting to her kids. Behind this standing desk is a kidney table for pulling groups, and she keeps a rolling cart that takes the place of a teacher toolkit. This space-saving arrangement allows her to have more space at the back of her portable for a calm down corner and other enhancements.
Utilize vertical storage near the teacher desk to save space.
Much like making use of magnets on a whiteboard or lockers, these baskets on the side of a standing desk allows teachers to quickly access curriculum and data binders from the front of the room.
The shelving systems on these standing desks are also space saving. One of the lower shelves even fits a printer!
Want to make your classroom beautiful? Try these ideas.
If you’re needing teacher desk ideas, chances are strong that you’re either brand new, tired of being disorganized, or in need a whole classroom refresh. I hope these creative ideas spark a little pep in your step! You can do it, teacher friend!