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A Brand-New School Year Deserves a Make-Over

Last year was my first year working in my school (or any school, for that matter).  In fact, it was my first year working outside the house in seventeen years.  I was so overwhelmed with moving across the country away from all my family and friends, trying to figure out everything in a very new place, and going back to work while trying to juggle everything and take care of my kids all on my own.  Because of all that, I didn’t really do anything to my classroom last year.  Other than the addition of a couple posters on the walls and a picture frame on my desk, my room looked just like every other plain, white, institutional room. 

Over the year, I developed a routine.  I learned to navigate this new place, new schools, new procedures.  I got new insurance and found some new doctors.  I started meeting people.  I figured out what needed to be done in each school for each kid.  I made some friends and learned how to do my job.

This year, now that I’m in a more comfortable place mentally, I wanted to make a more comfortable place in my classroom.  I spend forty hours a week there, why wouldn’t I want a comfy place in which to spend all that time?  And I really want to create an inviting place for my students.  I’m hoping my warm, friendly environment will help make them look forward to my class each day.

Here’s what I’ve done to my room.  If you’re a teacher, please feel free to duplicate anything you like.  And leave me comments with great ideas you’ve used in your classrooms!

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  • Welcome 1 of 13
    Welcome
    I got this idea from Pinterest. I used paper plates to create this welcome message for my classroom.
  • Teacher’s Corner 2 of 13
    Teacher's Corner
    I wanted my area of the room to be comfy and to reflect my personality. Think about how much time you spend at work. Doesn't it make sense to create a nice environment?
  • Desk 3 of 13
    Desk
    I stole this idea from another teacher. It just adds some color to an otherwise plain piece of furniture. And it helps those incoming 6th graders to learn your name.
  • Shelves 4 of 13
    Shelves
    I have some files in the colorful basket on my shelf. I also have some pics of my kids and of course, the giant box of candy I use to bribe my students.
  • Corkboards 5 of 13
    Corkboards
    I covered some cheap corkboards with scraps of fabric and ribbon and used these to feature some pictures of my friends and family.
  • Chicago Poster 6 of 13
    Chicago Poster
    I made this poster on Snapfish with some pictures I took of the city. I love it because it brings a bit of home to my classroom.
  • Beach Poster 7 of 13
    Beach Poster
    I used tropical pictures for this poster. I think I'll make some inspiring posters to add to my room as well.
  • Walls 8 of 13
    Walls
    Austin and Savannah painted my walls to add a little color to my otherwise very drab room.
  • Inspiring People 9 of 13
    Inspiring People
    Last year I made a dozen posters of people who either had rough childhoods, were told they would never amount to anything, or had failures early in life, yet went on to become wildly successful.
  • Borders 10 of 13
    Borders
    I used this same colorful border all around my room just to make it look more friendly.
  • Paint 11 of 13
    Paint
    My kids put a little color in this corner of my room also. It's not overwhelming, but I think it adds a nice touch.
  • Bulletin Boards 12 of 13
    Bulletin Boards
    I covered some bulletin boards in the hallway with coordinating colors. Not sure what we'll put on them, but I think they look nice.
  • Hallway 13 of 13
    Hallway
    The hallways were a very plain, institutional white. My kids and I painted them with the school's colors to liven things up a bit.

Want to read more from Dawn? Get her books Because I Said So (and other tales from a less-than-perfect parent) and You’ll Lose the Baby Weight (and other lies about pregnancy and childbirth) here!

Join Dawn on Facebook where her readers frequently post pictures of half-naked firemen on her wall. She loves her readers!

If you liked this, here are some more favorites from Dawn.

I don’t feel bed when I throw up on my dentist

Bikram Yoga is the DEVIL

I am one hot mama! (no, really I am)

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