Classroom decor no-no's

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by DrivingPigeon, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I love looking at other classrooms, and I'm always amazed at the things that are allowed in different districts. Here are the things that we are not allowed to have in our classrooms:

    -Only 20% of the walls can be covered (this is definitely not enforced)
    -We are not allowed to hang anything from the ceiling
    -No fabric is allowed (chairs, couches, pillows)
    -Our classroom doors must be completely empty/blank
    -Lamps are not allowed, or any personal electronics (fridge, coffee-maker, microwave, etc.)
    -No class pets

    We are also not allowed to move any electronic equipment (computers, telephones, printers, etc.). This limits how you can set up your classroom to some extent.

    What are some of the "no-no's" in your district?
     
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  3. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    We had some sort of wiring or something in the ceiling (I honestly have no idea what it was) but we weren't allowed to put anything in the space under it. This would have been fine, but my room was TINY and this was a good 20 square feet that couldn't really be used.

    We didn't have any other rules as far as I know. I don't know anyone that had a class pet, but I don't know if they weren't allowed.
     
  4. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    We can't have a fridge or microwave and we can't have boxes or anything stacked too close to the ceiling, but I don't think I've been told no on anything else. Some of the teachers hang student artwork on a string that goes across the classroom. It's so low that I have to duck every time I go in the room! Most of the teachers are a lot shorter than me!
     
  5. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Only 20% of the walls can be covered -We are not allowed to hang anything from the ceiling
    -No fabric is allowed (chairs, couches, pillows)
    -Lamps are not allowed, or any personal electronics (fridge, coffee-maker, microwave, etc.)


    These sound like fire code requirements. We had these same ones, and they were enforced when the fire marshal visited.
     
  6. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    All of this (except the bit about lamps and personal electronics) is standard protocol for my district. Most of what you have listed is part of the fire code in our area.
     
  7. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    No restrictions that I'm aware of.
     
  8. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Nothing can be within 18 inches of the ceiling. Fabrics have to be treated with fire retardant. If you had a refrigerator or microwave, you were grandfathered it- you cannot bring new ones to school. If you have a microwave, you must have a fire extinguisher and it is to be purchased by you- not the school/district.
    Other than that, you are free to do as you wish.

    Not decor related, but hand sanitizer has to be locked. :rolleyes:
     
  9. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Gosh, we don´t have any limits.
     
  10. thirdgradebuzz

    thirdgradebuzz Comrade

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    :yeahthat:

    None here, either.
     
  11. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    No appliances--microwave, fridge, coffee maker, heater, etc.
    Nothing within a foot of the ceiling.

    We'll have some serious restrictions in our new building next year--nothing fastened to the walls (e.g. pencil sharpeners) and we probably won't be able to put anything on the walls with tape or sticky tack for several months until the paint cures. Some of that will be challenging, but it all has to do with the warranty.
     
  12. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    - nothing on windows
    - nothing hanging from ceiling
    - nothing on wall within 18 inches of ceiling
    - no fabric
    - no fridges, microwaves, or coffee pots. Lamps and radios are ok
    - can't rearrange furniture except student desks
    - can't bring in any outside furniture (no extra bookshelves, no lecturn, no comfy chair)
    - can only use school-provided 3M tape to affix things to walls (which doesn't work well, as the rooms are extremely humid)
    - no live plants
    - no pets
    - no scented air fresheners
     
  13. Mrs.DLC

    Mrs.DLC Comrade

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    The 20% rule is there-not enforced.
    Fabric is supposed to be sprayed .(fire)
    No plug-ins for odor control!!
    Wow, Che, is that your district or school policy???? Sounds very restrictive!!
     
  14. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    No live plants? How sad. I love the touch of a plant.
     
  15. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    No rules for me, I do whatever I want.

    I have fabric bulletin boards, paper lanterns hanging from the ceilings, I move furniture regularly, I bought 3 computers last year and set them up myself, all the walls, doors, and windows are covered with stuff.

    The only thing I was ever told was when we had door decorating contests to make sure I cut a hole in the paper so you could see through the window. That's it.
     
  16. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    We don't have any restrictions. But my ceilings are probably 20 feet high- so I wouldn't hang anything from them.
     
  17. Sm2teach

    Sm2teach Companion

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    Our principal frowns on furry pets. Fish, turtles, aquatic frogs are ok. Other than that I think everything else is allowed.
     
  18. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I know that there are fire code, but they've honestly never checked our school (knowing my luck they will this year) while I've been there. I've been told (by other teachers) that we have to use fire-retardant fabric, and there are teachers with stuff on the walls everywhere. I have a fridge and microwave, and they've not been fussed about. I also bring in my own laptop and printers (or I would have no printers). Of course, I'm the only teacher at my school that purchases real surge suppressors (and not just power strips) and actually opens the school computers and blows them out with compressed air, so no one questions my decisions about computers or their placement. :) I hang things from my blinds (usually student posters/projects and just for a couple of days) with clothespins.

    Moving to third grade has me re-thinking some things, though. I've been told that when testing time comes, we have to either cover or take down EVERYTHING except the exit sign from the walls, door, etc. We even have to remove the kids' nametags from their desks!
     
  19. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    I think we're supposed to only have 15% of our walls covered, but that definitely does NOT happen...Shhh... I joke that our Saxon calendar materials alone cover 15% of the walls - anyone who has seen the Saxon first grade calendar set would understand...

    - Nothing hanging from ceilings
    - Can't move the computers or the tables they're sitting on
    - Nothing attached to doors

    I have no idea about appliances. We are allowed to have class pets, but I never will - I have cats at home so small reptiles/rodents are OUT. lol.

    I've seen lots of classroom pictures online that I'm shocked about - TONS of stuff from the ceilings - rainforest trees extending across the ceiling...it's just amazing and could never happen in California!! Our fire laws are too strict.

    I would just like to have a couple pom poms hanging, but ah, well. ;)
     
  20. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Combo of fire code, district, and school. It's super annoying, especially after the 8th Monday you've come in and all of the posters are on the ground because they shut off the a/c on the weekends and the tape just gives up.

    I may or may not have a small succulent, which of course does not smell or flower, is strictly off-limits to touching, and may greatly resemble a fake plant.
     
  21. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    We have glass doors to our classrooms, and we are not allowed to put so much as a window cling on them. :(

    Besides that, we're allowed to decorate as we wish. I hate our doors, though.
     
  22. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    It's really not so bad covering everything before the tests. It takes a bit of time, but if you just use the backs of old chart paper it goes pretty fast. Although they're not as strict about what we have to cover. I could leave name tags!
     
  23. LMichele

    LMichele Cohort

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    I haven't been told anything officially by my admin. I have a fridge and a microwave in my room, which the janitor will occasionally tell people aren't allowed yet doesn't do much beyond that. I have a window facing the hall that I've heard can't be decorated, but I've had it decorated all year and nothing was said. I decorate my door a bit too.
     
  24. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    You rule breaker!! :p
     
  25. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    :lol: I can't help it. I needed a happy place last year!
     
  26. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Those 3 would drive me CRAZY!
     
  27. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    No refrigerators, coffee makers, or microwaves are permitted. Some rooms house them for the whole wing or pod of classrooms, though. It is to save electricity in our district.

    At the school where I was for nine years, the fire marshal was not happy when I had rugs in my classroom. I think they are going to be fine in my portable now, though.

    I could hang things from my ceiling at the old school-- I just hung planets and a big inflatable rocket. I plan on hanging the rocket again this year.

    Pillows were fine, though I don't prefer putting them all out at the beginning of the year this year. I also have a leather-like "couch" that opens up and stores things inside as well as a turquoise chair from JoAnn's Fabrics.

    Of course, we cannot cover the walls too, too much, but no fire marshal ever had issues with how much I put up. I put up quite a bit in my opinion, considering. I don't know how I will be decorating the walls of the portable yet, though I've been pondering about it...
     
  28. mstnteacherlady

    mstnteacherlady Cohort

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    • Nothing on the doors, windows, or blinds
    • Nothing within 18 inches of the ceiling
    • Nothing hanging from the ceiling or from the bottom of cabinets
    • Nothing attached (in any way) to the air conditioning unit
    • No plug-in air fresheners (including something like wax warmers)
    • Nothing that needs electricity that can't be directly next to an outlet
    • All fabric must be treated with fire retardant spray each calendar year
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2013
  29. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    I'm probably a buzz kill but I have severe pollen allergies. My fourth grade teacher had plants in her room, and I spent the year miserable. So I can see that one.
     
  30. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Our only restrictions are "only commercial grade appliances" and "may not cover the window next to your door"
     
  31. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Jul 4, 2013

    Fridges/micros: yes
    Things on ceilings: no
    Things on walls/doors: yes
    Plants/animals: yes
    Curtains/carpets: yes
    No furniture obstructing exits and windows
    No plug-in scents or anything sprayable, like Glade

    I can't believe the things we can "get away with" at my school. My other 2 schools were much more strict!! No carpets, no curtains, nothing on doors, 10% wall coverage only (wth?!?), etc.
     
  32. Harper

    Harper Companion

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    Very few rules at my school unless the " safety man" visits. Even then, no one mentions fire code wit amount of stuff on walls. Hmmm? Wish they did - some teachers have SO much stuff on walls and in their rooms that it makes me claustrophobic and anxious. I have a hard time paying attention to anything when I am in rooms like that!
     
  33. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Some of these restrictions make sense to me, others I am sitting here scratching my head and wondering how it's really going to make a difference in a fire/emergency?
     
  34. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    That and the idea of limitation of use of walls and configuration would be awful. I love to decorate and change things up accordingly for learning and season.

    Here's a partial showing of decor on my door. I would hate if I couldn't even do that
    [​IMG]


    The only restriction we have is no electrical appliances I.e. coffee maker, frig , etc.
     
  35. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    We can't have furry animals...that's it.
     
  36. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Only 25% of the wall can be covered, nothing on doors, nothing hanging from ceilings. Meanwhile there is a metal grate covering my window - would be impossible to get out if the door was somehow blocked / on fire. We are always given a 'head's up' when the fire inspector is coming so we can make sure we're up to code.
     
  37. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    I love the NYC stuff- I've had a NYC theme the past 2 years. I feel like having decorations on my door make it so much more inviting and welcoming. I always have something with all the kids' names on my door, every teacher in the school does.
     

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