UGLY ClassroomYou heard me right, "UGLY." The first few years I taught Middle School. Middle School Teachers don't decorate very elaborately. In fact, if they put up a few cute or pretty bulletin boards and other teachers come around and ooohhh and aaahhh all over them.
Fast forward a few years when I was teaching Elementary School. Pinterest wasn't around back then. Someone thought they were saving me from my ugly classroom & suggested I choose a theme.
Oh, a theme. Great idea!!So I did what any good teacher would do. I went to my local teacher store and I found a theme I liked (Hollywood Movies) and I bought all of the posters, decorations, border and even a matching calendar set. I decorated in black, red, yellow and splashes of silver.
HATED it.So, how did I become #decorating unchallenged? Pinterest of course!! These tips are things I have learned throughout the years through trial and error. I am by no means claim to be a professional decorator. Remember, these tips are for beginners who want to create a cohesive learning environment. If you're passed that point, these tips might seem mundane.
Start with a plan. This is going to look different for everyone. I print everything out & put it together in a folder. It might seem overwhelming to the #decorating challenged but you can do it in a weekend.
-make a list of my "must haves" (ie: word walls, objectives board, centers, etc...)
-sketch out the layout of my classroom
-use pinterest to find inspiration
-print example bulletin boards
-sketch out the bulletin boards that I want & label them with colors
Decide on your anchor color - black, brown, charcoal, white, navy (furniture might dictate this). Choose 2 -3 accent colors. These might be dependent upon the butcher paper at your school. If you don't want to use butcher paper, fabric is a great choice as well.
I lean toward lime/turquoise/pink...but when I moved into my new classroom last year I found an UGLY orange wall. So, my colors changed a bit. I went with lime/aqua/tangerine.
I'm specifically talking about bulletin boards now (they might already be in your room or you might make them). With my current position, I am in and out of a lot of classrooms in a variety of grade levels. The biggest mistake I see when I walk into rooms is random colored bulletin boards with wild borders - all mismatched and crazy looking. If you want to do seasonal or decorative borders, I would highly suggest covering your bulletin boards in your anchor color.
For the best results, go with 2 colors of butcher paper (the anchor color & 1 accent) and 1 or 2 colors of border. An example of this was when I did brown & sky blue butcher paper with apple green/white polka-dot and pink borderette. It was so calming! It wasn't too girly. I made some little birdies out of scrapbook paper and used them to decorate. It was my favorite room so far.
Buying things from a teacher store isn't horrible. But, I remember one day a mentor teacher telling me, " I can't explain it but your room looks cold and her (a teacher friend) room looks warm and inviting." YES, I do hate it when administration compare teachers. It creates a competitive culture not a supportive culture.
What makes it warm and inviting? A few hand-made things. Start with 3 hand-made items.
I hear you. You're not a Crafty Teacher, then I would suggest buying a few things to make your room feel homey -- lamps and pillows.
Paint is NOT my friend. My mom does my spray painting. Maybe your grandma gave you a vintage stool in her garage, spray paint it to match your room and voila re-purposed and homey all in one!!
This Little Piggy wants to know, how has Pinterest helped you grow as a teacher?