Saturday, 8 September 2012

Confessions of a Shallow Teacher

I remember reading this post last summer and thinking, "Can't I decorate AND prepare for my students?"  Personally, I'd prefer to put a bit of extra time into decorating in the summer.  It's a great "brain break" from freaking out about all of the unknown factors I can't control thoughtfully and calmly preparing for the first week and developing long-term goals as I carefully review the curriculum.  I know there are many phenomenal teachers who are comfortable leaving blank walls for students to decorate, but I am not one of them.  In fact, I feel really shallow when I talk about my love of classroom decorations.  Space and aesthetics matter to me and I like to get things set up before the kids arrive.  There is TONS of space on the walls for my students to make the room their own; I really want the room to be their space as they add art and assignments to the walls, but I absolutely love starting the foundation before they arrive.  I had tons of fun getting ready because this is the first time I've ever had a classroom that I don't have to share!

It's not all superficial, of course!  I blogged about a few of the key phrases I have hung on the walls over here on an inquiry blog I'm contributing to with a group of teachers.  It was really important to me to develop key phrases that students will hear throughout the year.  I'm still debating a couple of things with my writing criteria but, overall, I feel like I have a clear picture of how I will assess and I want students to be comfortable with these.  I probably spent more time thinking about the phrases I will use than I did decorating, but the classroom makeover was still a lot of fun!

I don't like having an enormous "teacher throne" area in a classroom, but I decided to keep a side table next to my desk as it might become a handy place to conference with students or have them work away from their desk groups.

Before

After

The non-shallow part:



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