Any teacher will tell you that it is imperative to have a clean and tidy classroom. Not only does such a space make it easier for students to focus, but it also teaches them important values about cleanliness and keeping their surroundings sanitary.
In many cases, cleaning up the classroom isn’t just work done by the custodial staff. Teachers and support staff are often required to tidy up the area as well. If this is something that you need to do, you are probably wondering just how long this process takes.
Well, this task shouldn’t take you more than an hour. However, there are many factors that do come into play here. This can include current health regulations, classroom size, and more. To get a clearer idea of how long you can expect this job to take, consider the following:
How Long Should It Take?
A few years ago, cleaning the average classroom would have taken you about 30 minutes. Naturally, if the classroom is larger or has a few more fixtures, this would take you a bit longer. However, it is unlikely to have taken you more than 45 minutes or an hour.
The COVID-19 pandemic, though, has changed all of this. Teachers now have to take more precautions than ever before when it comes to sanitizing their classroom. Due to this, it can often take the average person a great deal more time to ensure that their classroom meets the necessary standards.
You should also bear in mind that how often you clean will depend on how long you spend cleaning the classroom. For instance, if the class is cleaned every day or every other day, then you will not have to devote as much time to the process.
This is because it is unlikely that dirt, dust, or grime will have taken hold. Thanks to this, a light cleaning will suffice. If you only clean periodically, though, the entire process is going to take much longer.
Cleaning the Classroom
Here is a breakdown of everything that you will need to take care of when cleaning up a classroom:
Your first order of business is to de-clutter the classroom. It is surprising the amount of useless items that can accumulate in a classroom. Also, considering that these spaces are used throughout the day, all week, they can end up quite cluttered.
As such, you will need to start by getting rid of broken or pointless items in the classroom. If it isn’t relevant, you should either throw it away or keep it in the school’s storage room so that it doesn’t take up important space in the room.
Once you are done de-cluttering, it is time to move onto organizing books, papers, stationary, etc. When everything is organized, you will find it far easier to clean. Not to mention, it will also bring a sense of order to the room.
First things first, you will need to dust each and every surface. If you have cupboards or shelves in your classroom, then these must be wiped down too. It is a good idea to throw open any windows first as you may end up kicking up a fair amount of dust.
You can use a feather duster or a wet rag to wipe down these areas. This will ensure that you are doing a more thorough job and are getting rid of any dirt or grime that may have built up here. You aren’t done with these surfaces just yet, though, and will need to tackle them later on as well…
Stack Up Chairs
If you try to clean in between desks and chairs, you will find that your efforts won’t be that effective. Therefore, it is important to stack up the chairs so that you have better access to all areas of the floor. You can choose to stack them in a corner on one top of the other.
Or, simply turn the chair upside down and place it on the table. This requires less effort and you won’t waste time moving the chairs around either.
Sweeping or Vacuuming
Most schools do have linoleum floors, which means that sweeping the floors should do the trick. Vacuuming can be even more effective in picking up more dirt at a faster pace. Therefore, you could be done with this task more quickly.
If any part of your classroom has carpet, it is important to use the vacuum cleaner. This is because carpet can hold up to four times its weight in dirt. Due to this, you can guarantee that there is going to be quite a bit of dust and dirt trapped there.
Run the vacuum over the carpet in vertical lines. And, it isn’t enough to just do this once. You will need to vacuum the carpet at least twice to ensure that all the dirt and dust is removed. Otherwise, this action will not be all that effective.
If the school has laminate floors, then these will need to be wet mopped as well. It is important to use a non-toxic cleaner and to mix it with equal parts of water. Begin to move from one corner of the room and gradually move to the other.
If the floor appears to be especially grimy, it is a good idea to rinse out the mop bucket and fill it with fresh water and cleaner before starting again. Otherwise, you will simply end up moving the dirt around instead of actually cleaning the floor.
If there is a sink in the classroom, this should be cleaned too. You can use a wet rag and a non-toxic disinfectant to wipe down the sink. Make sure to clean the tap as well as the area around it. As it isn’t unusual for mold to grow in these areas, it is just as important to dry the sink and surrounding spots. Use a dry cloth to vigorously wipe down the sink, especially those hard to reach places.
Now, clean windows aren’t necessarily required for a safe and healthy environment. However, you have to admit that clear windows can make all the difference. They allow more natural light to shine in and help the classroom to feel more cheerful.
Depending on which floor your classroom is on, this may not always be possible. If you are on the ground floor, though, a microfiber cloth and some window cleaner will do the trick. Once you have gotten rid of the grime. Go over the window with a dry microfiber cloth. This will ensure that there are no annoying streaks left behind.
Sanitizing the Classroom
These days, of course, a simple cleaning isn’t enough. For children to be able to reside in a classroom safely, further measures have to be taken. This means that you need to sanitize the entire room. The good news is that this isn’t as difficult as you might imagine.
You should be aware that just because you clean a classroom, doesn’t mean that you are actually disinfecting it. While most household and commercial cleansers do an excellent job of getting rid of bacteria, they may not be suitable for viruses or coronaviruses in particular.
Find the Right Sanitizer or Disinfectant
You do have to be careful about the kind of disinfectant that you use in a classroom. While the cleaner does need to be powerful to destroy all trace of the virus, it can’t be strong enough to be harmful for children, particularly those with allergies or sensitive skin.
Your best option is to use EPA-approved disinfectants as these are effective but gentler on the skin. You can use wipes or spray disinfectants. Make sure to wear gloves while using these and to discard of them properly once you are done.
Disinfecting the Classroom
So, what should you wipe down? You should disinfect any surface that students can come into contact with. This includes:
- Door handles
- Window latches
- Light switches
- Students and teacher desks
- Whiteboards and blackboards
- Shared electronics
- Lockers, cabinets, and bookshelves
How Often Should You Disinfect the Classroom?
In most cases, it is enough to clean your classroom a few times a week, depending on the traffic and how dirty it actually is. However, you will need to disinfect the area much more often, at least on a daily basis.
If students stay in one classroom for the duration of the day, then you just have to wipe down the surfaces once a day. You can do this at the end of the school day or before the children arrive in class the next morning.
In case students are required to go from one class to another, then you may need to wipe down everything after each class. This ensures that germs aren’t being carried from one class to another. It also increases health and safety for every batch of students.
This is what you need to know about how long it takes to clean a classroom. Follow the guidelines and you will find that the process can be made quicker and more efficient with the right tactics.