So, now you have had a peek into my main therapy room. While I feel very blessed to finally have a space of my own, I know that many other SLPs have shared spaces (or no spaces at all!) that they must work in. While I am primarily at the elementary school in my district, I spend a few hours a week at our junior high, and share a space with the social worker, psychologist, and whatever other professional that might need space for a bit. I also spent three years traveling between 8-10 schools per week, using whatever space that was available in the time I was there. I’ve worked in school libraries, glorified closets, an art room, multiple basement rooms, a band room above a stage, hallways, church fellowship hall, and temporarily empty classrooms (and if I was lucky, I was the only one using those spaces at that time!).
So today, I want to share a few design tips for shared work spaces. Some people might think it’s not worth bothering over, but I am a firm believer that good design and a dash of color make everything better, even if it’s a space you only use for a couple of hours a week! Here’s a peek on a quick transformation that took place at my current junior high school:
Basic supplies are always a good place to start! Everyone uses pens, pencils, scissors, and tissues. Choose a colorful pencil cup (this green one was a plant pot from the Target dollar spot) and a fun box of Kleenex, and you’re set! Having basic supplies available in your space means that you don’t have to carry those around all of the time, and makes things easier on the other people that share your space. (When I traveled, I left these items in a small school supply box, which I bought during the back-to-school sales for about $1 each.)
A bit of greenery, like this plastic plant and the flower arrangement I brought from home, can add a bit of cheeriness to an otherwise dull space. You can find inexpensive options at IKEA, Target, Walmart, and other big box stores for $10 or less.
You could also decorate the desk itself with some colorful wrapping paper or butcher paper attached to the sides with tape or sticky tack. Add some bulletin board border around the edges, and you’ve got a much more attractive desk!
If you are lucky enough to have a bulletin board or wall space, the free inspirational quote posters available in my store (either in black or in several color options) make a super easy and inexpensive wall display that would be appropriate for any school professionals sharing a space.
One thing I always keep in mind is to choose items for a shared work space that are inexpensive and easy to replace. Anything that is valuable or unique stays with me, either in my travel bag or car.
Do you share a work space? What are some design ideas that you have used? Let me know in the comments!