As mentioned in one of my last “currently” posts, I’m starting off this school year as a teacher and for the last couple of months, I’ve been transitioning out of my current position and prepping for the new year. Now that I’m officially in the swing of teaching and the school bells have rung, I’m sharing with you our learning space.
Over the past few years, I’ve gotten the chance to know a lot of you through this blog and it’s been awesome sharing different life changes with you. Therefore, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to share with you some shots of my classroom.
Now, my classroom isn’t the most conventional school room because our school isn’t your traditional-looking school.
Our school actually used to be homes, but our founders transformed the spaces into a school to be able to provide lower income families in our neighborhood with quality, private school they could afford in a familiar setting. We’re also on a tight budget every year because our school provides up to 90% of our students’ tuitions so that families can afford to send their children there, regardless of their financial ability. That means a large chunk of our budgets goes to paying for our students to attend. It’s one of the many things I love about the mission and heart of this school.
With that in mind, our classrooms aren’t necessarily the trendiest to most. We don’t have new floors and primary colors splashed all over our walls. Our classrooms actually used to be bedrooms, living rooms, and other spaces many years ago. It’s one of the really cool, unique, and homey things about our school that give it it’s character.
My room is the smallest classroom in the entire school. It actually used to my office my first year there, but they recently turned it into a classroom. It may not look like a Pinterest-worthy room where you can paint the walls any color you like, but it’s a room I’m grateful to have and one that will house a lot of learning.
FRONT OF THE CLASSROOM
One of the things you’ll notice is that I have bible verses and some of our core values posted around the classroom. Our school is really unique in that we’re a faith-based, private school that can openly share the gospel with our students. We can implement our faith into our curriculum and encourage students in their walks with Christ. Our families are aware of this and actually love that about our school – even those who identify with different faiths.
The “Did You Know” frame was actually something that was given to me from the previous teacher. I’m really excited to use it for my “today in history” facts for the upcoming school year. Quite a few students in my homeroom class really enjoy facts, so I am hoping they also really enjoy these!
I try to keep my classroom norms simple not only so the students can remember, but so I can, too. I made the mistake my first year teaching of having a list of rules for students. The reason why it was a mistake for me was because I relied so much on the rules that I didn’t teach ANY procedures.
I forgot to implement a pencil sharpening procedure, a procedure for sharing in class and going to the restroom as well as other things, so when they happened in class, they didn’t listen because it was a little too late.
Not to mention, the rules I created I didn’t stick to. I wasn’t consistent. Sure they were posted, but I showed more grace that I needed to on things that I posted and claimed to have very clear expectations about. It was one of the many things that led to some serious teacher burnout my first year in school. If you’d like me to do a separate post about that, feel free to let me know!
This year, I’m sticking with three main ones and then going over procedures the first week of school like crazy. I’ve created a procedure for almost everything with the intent of driving it home as often as I can. These three norms (the Three R’s) are ones that I’ve used when I taught HS Prep this past year and it worked well for me.
The bright pink paper that you see on the wall with the twine on it is for my word wall, which is still currently under construction. I’ve added clothes pins to them so I can change the words as needed.
One of my favorite areas in my classroom is definitely my desk. I love pink and so a lot of the things in this area are that color. Also, many of items are from Target’s dollar spot, including the map cork-board, which I thought was perfect since I’m teaching Social Studies this year.
I’ve been working on making my area more organized for my own sanity sake, so that I am able to effectively keep track of what I need to. My first year as a teacher, I wasn’t very organized and therefore this year I’m making it a priority to do so.
I’m still moving a lot of things around in this area and will probably move it quite a few more times before the year’s end.
I’m a Temple University alum, so it’s only natural that I added some TU items to represent my undergraduate university. Funny thing is, I couldn’t wait to get out of Temple, but now that I’ve graduated, I am so thankful to have went through for my undergraduate years.
OTHER AREAS OF THE ROOM
In addition to the educational posters and biblical verses, I downloaded some items from Teachers Pay Teachers to adorn my walls with – including the motivational Donut posters from Donut Lovin’ Teacher. They’re so cute, quirky, and fit nicely with the colorful theme I was going for with the class.
I’m really excited about this section and the previous teacher, graciously let me keep these as well as quite a few books! My classroom isn’t that large, so it’s nice to have these bookshelves which are the perfect size for my room and fit so nicely in that corner.
The tables above were also handed down to me because being that my room is the smallest in the school, there’s only so many full-sized tables you can actually fit comfortably in there. She purchased these so that there would be additional seats in the room without having to use a bulky table that would easily eat up the space in the room. I am really thankful for it because it actually fits my color scheme really nicely and does make the room look larger than it actually is.
Well, that’s my room for this year! I’d love to hear from you!
If you’re a teacher, what is your theme for the school year? If not, what is your ideal office space?