Last year, I can remember at least 3 times being visited in my classroom by my principal, who glared around my room at its bare walls and muttered “This classroom depresses me.”
So this summer, I spent a little bit of time working on coming up with SOME better way to get my room to my liking, and a few weeks ago, I started working on making some changes to it. The biggest was switching the orientation of the room from LONG to WIDE, adjusting the projector and whiteboard accordingly, and adding in a ginormous map to one of the walls. Also, with the assistance of my amazing wife, we got a couple of cool new paint jobs to make life a little bit easier for yours truly. Check out what we did!
Newly decorated classroom panoramic, looking to the Southeast. Excuse the mess on the desks (but the floor’s clean!).
Newly decorated classroom panoramic, looking to the Southwest.
Before, my classroom had faced the East, meaning that 1) it was a very LONG classroom (read: hard to “reach” all students) and 2) it had a ginormous window facing the left of my students (read: distraction factory). Now, things are turned so the front faces the South, and my projector has been ceiling mounted, pointing to a beautiful new pull-down screen that is DIFFERENT than the whiteboard, allowing me to show videos, images, resources AND utilize the whiteboard.
Newly decorated classroom panoramic, looking to the Northwest.
Lots of work on the East side (old front of the classroom), with two pretty-nicely decorated corkboards (left “Google board” is still in progress, but the right “Pinterest board” will feature awesome student work). Also, dug out a mammoth map from storage and got our amazing maintenance guys to install it, meaning now we can see the whole world without having to rely on Google Maps.
My new favorite part of the classroom, including a fun bulletin board idea AND a super-purty original artwork by my talented wife/hero.
This was originally a window to another classroom that was boarded up last year after my first class (when I proved to be too noisy of a neighbor). Now it’s got a base layer of magnet paint ($20 @ Home Depot), then splatter painted by my wife. The Google Map pins are cardstock glued onto magnets so I can move them around. It’s PRETTY cool. #onemillioncompliments #icanttakeany
The plan for this is still early on, but it includes my school calendar, information about me and my classes, and “Classroom memes” (look it up on Google or Pinterest).
What a pretty view behind us. I mean, you’ll just have to trust me. #overexposed
MY realm, with my English class in its early stages of planning, written onto my whiteboard paint ($20 @ Home Depot)-covered wall. Far right has a nice gap to store my bike (when I actually ride it to school, unlike today).
I’m super happy with what I’ve got in so far, and there are still a few things to do:
- Mount a new Samsung 2.1 wireless soundbar that I picked up from Groupon for only *muffled voice that sounded vaguely like “$120″* so my classroom can have decent sound without running all kinds of cords all over the place.
- Decorate the heck out of those bulletin boards to start out fresh.
- Figure out something long and skinny I can put on top of my whiteboard—perhaps a timeline?
- Put up my handsome “Romeo & Juliet” poster from Litographs.
- Put up my custom-designed “Double your rate of failure” poster.
- Waiting on a package from China with a secret weapon for my classroom—Tweet-sized/themed “I Can” statements that will live on my wall all the time and be marked as which ones we’ll be using that day. More on this to come…
However, aside from those couple of jobs, I’m jazzed about what I had! I don’t know that my principal will be able to wander into my room and just be floored by what thing we did, but I know that at least I went from easily the worst in the school to a couple of spots better than that