High school teachers...how decked out is your classroom?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by linswin23, Aug 11, 2016.

  1. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    Aug 11, 2016

    Hi all,

    I've got a new teaching gig this year (English 9-12) and my room was pretty barren when I walked in. I've taught middle school and elementary school in the past and have usually went all out to decorate--I've spent DAYS in the past to get my room looking really great.

    This year, to my own surprise, I don't feel super pressured to get things up on the wall. I've put up some personal photos from trips I've taken, a large calendar for the students (that they can write birthdays, events, HW on), a literary elements poster, a few A4 size photos from old nature calendars I cut out, and I printed A4 size quotes about writing and reading (in color) and hung them on my back wall's bulletin board. The teacher before me left behind these beautiful paintings on canvas (student work), so I've got those up, too. So, my room is no longer completely barren, but it's quite under decorated from what I've done in the past. I don't really have a lot of resources to decorate, nor the time. Also, I want to hang up student work, so I would rather wait and save wall space.

    How decorated is your high school classroom?
     
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  3. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Aug 11, 2016

    Mine is pretty full. We switched school which means we had to move everything. I just finished putting on the finishing touches as our first day was today. I like to have everything done by the time the kids get there - it was a lot of work on my own time

    I have the following:
    - 2 bulletin boards (grades, schedules, lunch menus, etc)
    - 3 main rules
    - additional posters about rules (no food, etc)
    - lots of posters relating to English, mostly writing
    - a LOT of small little posters that have positive quotes, they're a regular sheet size, colored print inside a sheet protector. They're all over my classroom and make up a large part of the decorations.
    - a huge bulletin board with student work

    Basically a lot of the wall is covered, but I don't think it's overwhelming. I do have a main color (purple) that's prominent throughout the room.
     
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  4. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

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    Aug 11, 2016

  5. jw12

    jw12 Rookie

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    Aug 12, 2016

    My room is generally pretty bare. A few posters and sports schedules, and that's it. I never display student work, either. I teach science, so maybe that's the difference. I tend to think at the high school level that if a classroom looks too much like an elementary setting, the students are going to think that is what the expectations of the class will be. It's kinda hard getting kids to buy into rigorous academic work when the room reminds them of 3rd grade! :tearsofjoy:
     
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  6. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Keeping an eye on this thread as I'm starting my new school on Monday... in a real, physical building. Still waiting to find out what my space will be. My hope is to give some part of the space to the students themselves, even if it's just writing their names on a paper apple and taping it to the wall.
     
  7. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    Aug 12, 2016

    I don't really have a lot of empty wall space in my science room thanks to a huge periodic table and lab cabinets. I do have banners I have made from vista print over my chalkboards. The top of my cabinets has lab equipment that won't fit in any storage space I have. My only bulletin board is reserved for posting absent work/handouts.
     
  8. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    I have quite a bit of posters (French monuments, sayings in French, conjugations, etc.) and student work. I like having student work up especially for parents' night so they can see what their kids are doing. Most teachers in my school don't deck out much, so I don't feel a whole ton of pressure to go all out. I also don't want my kids to get too distracted during class.
     
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  9. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Aug 12, 2016

    I feel like mine is definitely pretty decorated. I have a lot of HS level things on the walls. I also have a few bulletin boards. One is for me to put up all the important things I need. The other two rotate. I also have a few white boards, so the one becomes one I decorate with student work or use for important announcements. I spend a lot of my waking time in my room, so I want it to be cozy for me. The kids seem to respond positively to it. I also have some alternative seating options for when I'm not directly teaching. They LOVE that.
     
  10. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Science, so lots of posters that I snagged for free, then laminated. No "theme" - science IS the theme, and I figure that gives me great leeway. Nothing cutesy or overly "school has started" mode. I try not to have to make a lot of decoration changes as the year moves on, although the posters change to coordinate with content. I don't have an artistic bone in my body. Anything in a pertinent poster that supports science and some reading works for me.
     
  11. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    Aug 16, 2016

    I ended up getting a few plants and these fun string of lights and hung them up. It makes it more cozy. I agree! We spend A LOT of time in our classrooms, so I want the room to look nice for my sake as well as the kids. I also made a few more posters on canva.com--awesome website!
     
  12. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    My first physical classroom! The school is so small, I'm sharing it with the social studies teacher. I currently have a few posters about root / affixes and editing. Talking with my new roommate about whether we dedicate a wall to student art / writing / other stuff.
     
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  13. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Aug 17, 2016

    I have three bulletin boards awaiting student work. I'll get some up before our meet-the-teacher night. (They have background and border up.)

    I teach a film elective, so I have some framed movie posters. I also have an area of the wall devoted to posters for previous drama club performances. I have a few things that are relevant to our school mascot, and the usual things that must be posted: mission statement, bell schedule, etc. The back wall has some magnets on it. It's fairly well decorated but not overly so. Everything is either in a frame or a banner from VistaPrint.
     
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  14. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I don't really decorate much because there's not usually much room to put anything up and I don't have money. I pretty much put up periodic table posters, my classroom rules in three places, printouts in plastic sleeves of Cl-Ev-R (a science critical thinking construct), and maybe something about fixed and growth mindsets.

    This year, I'm in a weird spot because I'm taking over someone else's room. She's decorated it overly cutesy, and I'm not really into that, so I took a lot of it down (but apparently I'm not supposed to touch the wall of French bulldog photos).

    One thing I DID do though, was to pull off all of the light fixture covers. They're the plastic ones they put over fluorescent lights and you can tell these haven't been changed out in YEARS. They are all crusty and yellow and give everything in the room a sickly yellow glow. I instead bought about 10 yards of white fabric and have draped it over the bare light fixtures. I even added some colored fabric to change it up. It looks pretty awesome. I'm big on having the right atmosphere in my classroom. It needs to be bright, clean, and soothing.
     
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  15. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    Yes! I am all about atmosphere, too. I am thinking about getting a standing floor lamp because I hate florescents.
     
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  16. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Aug 18, 2016

    I just found a great rainbow one on craigslist for really cheap. I might buy a couple more lamps from goodwill or something though because although the cloth definitely improves the color tone of the room, it also dims things a little bit. They might be bright enough for most people, but it's just a bit too dim for my tastes.
     
  17. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

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    Aug 18, 2016

    You guys much have a much more relaxed fire code than we do! We aren't even allowed to dress our windows up with valances anymore! It makes me mad. Our school is a brick/concrete building and the classrooms are stark concrete block. The valances in the windows used to really help make the rooms more comfy and attractive. We used them for years, and then about two or three years ago they decided no curtains whatsoever. We can't even have too much of the door or our walls covered in paper, and anything that is hanging on the walls has to be a certain distance from the ceiling. And nothing can hang from the ceiling.
    Ugh.
    Anyway. My classroom has very little blank wall space because of a built in bookshelf/counter top situation that lines one whole wall, whiteboards on two walls, and two large windows plus a built in cupboard and another built in bookshelf on one wall. I just inherited this room last year, and mostly decorated with student work though I have a few little things here and there to soften it up and give it character. It was very messy and neglected when I inherited it. Students who were in the previous teacher's class were amazed at the transformation. I didn't really do much other than clean it, organize it, and put a few cute things around. It looks like I made the effort and care about my classroom, but it's not overdone.
     
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  18. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    It's not that our fire code is more relaxed. It's just that we quickly hide anything that violates fire code before the marshall comes to take a look. LOL.
     
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  19. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

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    Ah! LOL! We're never given any warning, they'll just come wandering into the classroom all of a sudden. So our admins are pretty adamant to remind us of the things we're not allowed to do/have in our classrooms.
    And what's funny is, I and other teachers have been known to hang huge sheets of black paper over our windows to block out the sunlight that makes it impossible to see the Smart Board screen very well. Apparently that's not a problem. WHAT?? LOL. Makes no sense.
    A former teacher used to do the colored sheets that you can put in the fluorescent lights in the ceiling to soften the lighting in her room. It was really nice. Fire inspectors nixed that after she'd been doing it for a few years.
    Meh. We can't have any fun.
     
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  20. TechnoMage

    TechnoMage Companion

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    Aug 31, 2016

    Google it, the last fire in a school caused by posters, valences, curtains, or anything else??? NEVER!!! going back as far as a Google search can go. I can not figure it out, why the sudden "jump on teachers" by all the fire marshals?? They need to be more concerned with Dance Clubs, Wal-Mart and Lowes locking their fire doors and exits and stay out of my class room. But really folks, High Schoolers seldom read anything we put on the wall including the answers to the tests we give unless we MAKE them. Maybe your experience has been different from mine?
     

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