Decorating a classroom has endless possibilities. It’s a chance to not only spice up the room, but also a chance to let your creativity shine. Whether you’re a high school English teacher, or an elementary school Math teacher, there are so many ways to make your space a place that everyone can enjoy.
Don’t think that decorating your classroom starts and ends with teacher supply stores.
They market their items to teachers who are begging for something new and different, but what they deliver is just different variations on the same old boring stuff. Instead, stick to dollar stores and yard sales to find inexpensive and inspiring additions to your decorative bag of tricks. Keep your eye out for posters, craft supplies and wacky odds and ends that will really liven up your space. One man’s garbage is another man’s (or woman’s) treasure.
If you aren’t having any luck rummaging around at yard sales, try digging in your own basement or attic. There are probably things packed away in boxes that you’d forgotten that you had. Scraps of fabric, old wallpaper, and even old toys make great decorations and can give the room a really fun and cookey ambiance.
If you’re not a pack-rat and don’t keep junk from your past, try visiting a craft store. Stay away from pricey matted pictures and expensive trendy items you may come across. Instead, buy tons of colored card stock (when it’s on sale of course) to liven up bulletin boards or to use as makeshift mats behind pictures you’ve clipped from magazines. Cut out large letters and make signs indicating different stations in your room or cut out shapes and dangle them from the ceiling.
If you have a hobby, scrapbooking for example, use your skills to make your own little masterpieces to hang throughout. Use poster board and scrapbook supplies to make posters and charts that will interest your students. If you are into music, perhaps hang records and instruments from the ceiling to give the room a one of a kind feeling. Try and put yourself in your student’s shoes. What kind of things would they find interesting?
If you teach a specific subject, say art, you have endless possibilities of decorations throughout the year. Ask your students if they will donate their art for a few months and create a showcase in a section of the room. Or better yet, leave the decorating up to your students. Dedicate the first few days to getting to know your students (and their creative strengths) by having them come up with ideas for the room. Make sure you set guidelines and try to provide them with a plethora of mixed media to help them find their imaginative side. Seeing how they interact can really teach you a boatload on how each student learns.
Change the theme in your classroom throughout the year. If you’re bored with the way things look, the kids probably are too. As the seasons change, so should your decorations. This doesn’t mean that your decorations should reflect holidays or anything like that. It just means that throughout the year, a fresh look may be just what you and your students need to tackle another fun filled day of learning.
Decorating can be challenging, but it can be fun too. Don’t let it intimidate you! Find your creative side and then let it all out. If anything, it can be stress relief. Good luck and don’t forget your glue gun!