∆ Jackson

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Aug 26 2013

Setting the Record Straight.

There is a common misconception that only elementary school teachers can have cute, clever, and awesomely decorated classrooms.  The other end of this rumor tends to suggest that high school classrooms are not cute, exciting, or well-decorated.  That they are boring and consist of only a few content-related posters.  Let’s just set the record straight.

Here I have for you, ladies and gentlemen, three lovely decorated classrooms: mine, a coworker from the science hall, and a coworker from the math hall.

Let’s just celebrate back to school by taking a look at how awesome it is to be a high school teacher.  Have no fear, my fellow high school teachers!  Yes, you will be subject to the whims and mood swings of teenagers every single day, but you do not need to do so in a CMU block room painted pale yellow with a few posters hanging on your bare walls.

I have for you, Exhibit A:

This excellent Algebra I teacher who has his desks very cleverly arranged and has taken the time to paint his walls!  And not just with math content, but also inspiring words for his students to see and internalize every day.  He also has some awesome college pennants hanging up and an awesome word wall just waiting to be filled!  And he did not neglect the front of his room.  He painted around his Promethean Board as well.

Now for, Exhibit B:

First, this amazingly creative young Biology teacher made the fantastic wreath you see above!  She found the idea on a blog and executed it perfectly.  You can see in the next picture how she hung it in her classroom next to….curtains!  I am still jealous of these awesome curtains and inviting it makes her room.  (I’m on the lookout for some inexpensive curtains of my own, so if you see any let me know!)  I love how she incorporated Science posters on her AC units to make use of ALL her space and I think the final homey touch for this great was the class pet, a guinea pig, that she brought in today.  What a wonderful and welcoming environment in which to learn!

And finally, Exhibit C:

(which happens to be my room, explaining why I have so many more pictures of it…for the other two classrooms I stole my coworkers’ pictures off facebook):

First, a friendly welcome!

My kids sit by team, and their team number hangs from the ceiling.

On the back wall, you can find each class’ agreed upon class rules as well as individual student goals, written and posted by themselves.

I added fabric to the back of my bookshelf this year.  It makes it more attractive and covers up the back (super dirty) so I can turn it sideways to use a small room divider.

The other side of the “divider”/bookshelf is my personal work space where I keep my clip board for each class.

And my file cabinets which were old and ugly so I decorated them with contact paper from the dollar store.   Super easy and much more attractive.

And here is where I have their class trackers now hanging so we can keep track of what awesome things are going on in each class.

And as the weeks go on, we discuss and add one of the many posters I made to the wall each day.  This way, the posters are not just hanging there, but students have actually thought about WHY we hang them up and what they mean to our classroom and the work we do.

So, there you have it!  High School classrooms can be awesome, too!

So go forth and create awesome classrooms, high school teachers!!

3 Responses

  1. Excellent post. I used to be checking continuously this weblog and I am inspired!

    Extremely helpful information particularly the remaining part :) I take care of such info much.
    I was seeking this certain information for a very long time.
    Thanks and best of luck.

  2. Cioci Amy

    Ronn, your classroom looks great! I was reminded of your inspirational posters today when Tori’s music teacher at school directed parents and students to a blog he likes. It’s by a music teacher called Gary Rupert. Here is a link, and below that are excerpts from the post for today. http://todaystask.wordpress.com/

    “Growth is not automatic. It is a choice you make and you must make it every day… The good news is that we need not be tomorrow what we are today. If we are teachable and remain open to the possibilities, our potential is limitless. To ensure growth, we must learn to focus on self-development, not self-fulfillment! Today, no every day, I encourage you to consider your own growth environment. Do you live in a climate conducive to growth? Perhaps, just as the growth of a tropical fish is limited by the size of aquarium in which it lives, you are affected by your own environment. If your current circumstances do nothing to help you grow, change them. It is never too late to start growing. Start now! Make Today a Magnificent Day!”

  3. Alana

    So proud of this and you, Ronnie! Engagingl, fun, and stylish classrooms should be a norm, not the minority! Thanks for caring so much for your kids and classroom!

    Love, Alana

Post a comment