Thursday, June 6, 2013

Classroom Envy

We've been out of school two weeks (!) and I'm already toying with my classroom in my head. Actually, not just in my head. I went in today and threw away accumulated junk for two hours. I'm sure the custodians will be cussing me, but I felt a lot better. I had accumulated so much clutter over two years and it just. had. to. go.

Yeah... it was kind of like this without all that big city class... ;)
Source
Oh, and I also had to make room for all of my new stuff that I swiped from Amber while she cleaned out her classroom. I'm a vulture like that.

Lest you think I'm a horrible person, Amber got a totally awesome principal's job. I'm not swooping in stealing her crap against her will. Miss you already, Amber!
Source
In addition to purging my classroom of crap, I've also been thinking about my classroom set-up and, in particular, my classroom d├ęcor. Not gonna lie... there is an itty bitty part of me that kind of wishes I would have taught elementary school strictly because I love looking at the lower level classrooms! I stumbled upon The School Supply Addict's Amazing Rooms to Check Out. It gives me a serious case of classroom envy. How great do some of those rooms look, seriously?

This leaves me with a quandary... how much decoration is too much in a high school classroom?

I didn't decorate my classroom my first year of teaching because I was in way over my head. I didn't decorate my classroom my second year because when I was hired I was told that the job would only hold out for one school year. Happily, the job held out last year too, but I still didn't decorate. I'm finally feeling comfortable enough to try to make my classroom my own.

Obviously I don't think I'll be doing a jungle or under-the-sea theme soon. Would it be a total faux pas, though, to maybe cover my plain gray bulletin boards with fun fabric? Or to put a potted plant somewhere? Or figure out some kind of curtain to hide those really annoying windows into the library?

Something else I'm seriously considering... getting rid of my monstrous desk. Seriously, I kind of hate it. Not only is it a detestable, dented hunk of metal whose drawers do not open unless kicked, but it's a catch-all for all my crap... stuff that just needs to be immediately sorted and filed or thrown away. I would have to leave something in the back of my classroom for my computer/printer/etc. because of the way the room is set-up, but I spend almost the entirety of my day in front of the classroom. That's where I teach, where I assist, where I monitor. I'm thinking I would like to have a kidney table or something in the front of the room. Right now, I literally use a student desk throughout the majority of the day. Hummm... decisions, decisions.

What do you think? Is it okay to jazz up a secondary classroom? Teachers, are your classrooms decorated? Do you have desks? Do you have grody NYC trashcans overflowing with junk you've accumulated over the year? I want to hear about it!

REMINDER! BLOG GIVEAWAY WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON SATURDAY!

16 comments:

  1. I teach high school English and I decorate my classroom every year. This year I didn't do as much as I've done in the past, but you can see what I did here: http://andgrovermakesthree.blogspot.com/2012_08_01_archive.html

    I'm pretty sure I have pictures from other years, but they aren't on my blog, as it doesn't go back very far.

    I'm often jealous of my sister-in-law, who teaches 3rd grade, when it's the beginning of a new year and she's talking about the theme she's going to have for her room for the year. I was always a bulletin board junkie, but these last few years I haven't had the space to do anything fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have two bulletin boards in my classroom. One of them is a mandatory information center with fire drill routes, dress code info, etc. The other is, of all places, behind my desk. Works okay for me, but it's not exactly useful for the classroom as a whole. Definitely think I'm going to try dressing up the information center though. It's so blah right now! By the way, love the blog. :)

      Delete
  2. Hey, love this post - especially the link that awesome site with so many classroom ideas. I totally decorate my classroom and love it. Obviously I don't do "themey" but last year I used all of (well, most of) the decorations from Sam's first birthday party in teal and red, and my students loved it. I think even high school kids appreciate a warm, inviting, and fun environment for learning. I say... Go for it!!

    Also, I'm totally with you on the desk. I use a small old wooden desk, and it is perfect. Another option is to buy some fun contact paper (I found mine at TJ Maxx) and cover some of the old ugly metals in your room - I did all of my file cabinets.

    Here's my classroom this past year: http://www.emyselfandi.com/search?q=classroom (just realized I even had a little shout-out to you in that post!)

    Enjoy your summer & don't work too hard!
    E

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Red and teal... two colors that were meant to be together! :) I like the idea of the contact paper! I'll definitely be looking for that. Thanks!

      Delete
  3. I teach 8th grade and this was my first year of really decorating my room. I got a zebra printed sheet set and used it to cover my bulletin boards, made "curtains" for my windows etc. Here's a classroom tour I did in September.
    http://craigandcasey.blogspot.com/2012/09/for-over-two-decades-now-to-me-at-least.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love the zebra print and I love the blog! I'm a fan. :) How did you like your desks set up that way? I'm intrigued...

      Delete
    2. My desks are like that for a couple of reasons. I do tons of group/ partner work and I am also the activities coordinator so my room doubles as ground zero for everything. I just don't have room for any other way to do my desks!

      Delete
    3. Sheets....what a great idea! I love your room. Mine is not so great--first of all, it isn't square. The building is round and I am on the inside. Picture a donut; now, slice the donut into wedges and that is the shape of my room. To make it EVEN better (insert a little sarcastic tone here) the longest wall doesn't go all the way to the floor or the ceiling. It is very noisy. Add 35 desks and there is not one iota of space in which to maneuver. However, I DO have a round skylight, which is pretty cool. I am definitely buying some sheets. Great idea!

      Delete
  4. Loved the link. I'm looking forward to adding some pizazz to my classroom this summer. Last year I had my son in August and then started my leave so I wasn't able to even set up my room for my sub :( Excited to learn about your giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh those maternity leaves... haven't experienced that one yet but it sounds like its own challenge, specially with an August birthday!

      Delete
    2. EEK! *Especially, not specially...
      They pay me to teach kids, ya know... O_o

      Delete
  5. I just found your blog and I love it! I am a high school English teacher, and I definitely decorate. I picked cute (but not childish) border and laminated and used it to separate sections of my white board, I hang "READ" posters, a 6 foot Shakespeare, and various other literary paraphernalia. I try to make my classroom as inviting as possible...because I'm there so often! Don't be afraid to make it yours! I moved across the country this year, and my mind has been spinning with what new look I can give my classroom when I get one in a new school! Have fun :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I understand about cleaning out the clutter!! I was scared the janitor was going to fuss at me each time they came to empty the trash towards the end of the year!! LOL Oh well I needed more room for everything I am going to collect this summer!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm starting my third year of teaching this year. I definitely decorate, because my students usually complain if the room is bare. I decorate with a color "theme". This year it's teal, aqua, plum, and grey. They're soothing colors to me. So, I find organizers (baskets etc) in those colors, I mat my bulletin board labels with those colors, etc. I love to decorate and this allows me to do so without going overboard or making my students feel like they're still in elementary. I just switched jobs, so I'm in the process of decorating right now, but I'll have pictures within the next week or so. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. My district requires classrooms to be emptied completely each year, so I have mostly thrown away all that accumulation as I pack up. However, I did got through all my boxes a few weeks ago and give a bunch of stuff to a new teacher in my town. That's two less boxes I have to take back in now!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Obtaining this type of degree is a milestone in life, and one that can lead to greater financial packages being offered. Instead of attending a traditional bricks and mortar college, there is now the possibility of enrolling on an online course.

    ReplyDelete