These first three days of school have been ROUGH (more so the first two than the third).
Like, I am truly having a serious battle with imposter syndrome and want this to be my first and last year of teaching. Lots of people said that I would “make the perfect teacher” or would “be so great.” Being that it’s day three and I’m literally at war with cell phones, I’m not sure.
Plus, it doesn’t help that I literally look like the high school kids.
On the bright side, I am struggling to gather my bearings in a classroom that I believe is well-decorated. While I spent a week throwing away two decades worth of actual junk (there were literally bags of trash in one of the cabinets), I came up with nine essentials I needed for my classroom, and most of them are décor.
Adding plants, either real or fake, make any place feel extremely cozy, especially the classroom. This is the only live plant I currently have in my room, and I simply brought it from home because it wasn’t getting enough sunlight. If you can’t keep a live plant (I’m honestly surprised the aloe has made it this far), fake plants are the way to go. They are all over my classroom.
Exposing organization methods creates a clean environment, which is preferred for students. When your classroom is chaotic, the class can feel chaotic. You know how they say your environment affects your mood? The same goes for organization in a class. Less organization = more chaos = quickly going to be in a bad mood.
The overhead lights are never inviting. Alternative lighting, such as lamps, instantly creates a cozier environment, especially for the teacher. A lot of time is spent in the classroom as a teacher, so it’s important to create an environment you want to be in; lamps are the number one way to do that. The tricky part will be keeping the students awake.
My method for putting 99+ names to faces is with numbers. Since I’m teaching interior design, I thought it would be a cute little idea to put the numbers on paint samples. Of course, they were slightly destroyed by the end of the first day, but I revived them. I definitely recommend finding a more secure method.
My doodles and annotations between my pictures are pretty faint, but I am okay with that. This is a great way to initiate conversations of relatability and to remind both you and the students that you (the teacher) have a life outside of school.
I miraculously avoided breaking fire/safety hazards by having curtain lights randomly placed on the wall (*wipes forehead in relief*). This pretty much goes along with the aforementioned Alternative Lighting, especially with creating a cozy environment. I’ve seen some images where people put the curtain lights on the ceiling and around the board, which would definitely light up more than one spot of the wall.
So this isn’t necessarily décor, but having cohesive labels in the classroom aids in the appearance of an organized environment. Plus, it helps you remember where everything is, especially if you have a ton of items from previous teachers like I do.
An Analog Clock
Analog specifically because a) they are more aesthetically pleasing than most digital clocks and b) it could be a great teaching opportunity; there a lot of children who do not know how to read an analog clock. In fact, I don’t believe schools are teaching it anymore; at least, that’s the case for some counties in Tennessee.
This isn’t necessarily a piece of décor, but it is very nice to have if you know you’re teaching a class full of girls. I’m not sure if it illegal where you live, but it is always nice to have a female student’s back. Plus, if you’re female teacher, this could be back up for your potentially irregular period.