My First Classroom

Most little girls grow up dreaming of their wedding.

Not me.

I dreamed of my first classroom.

I've never wanted to be anything else but a teacher. At an early age I considered being a lawyer but realized that it was had to play pretend lawyer with no jury, judge, or prosecuting attorney.

Playing school was much easier. Set up the stuffed animals. Write on the chalkboard and teach. The silence of my audience just showed my skill at classroom mangement. Good students don't actually talk, right?

As I got older, baby sisters replaced stuffed animals and yes, I created my own homework papers just so I could grade them. I would come home from school and tell my mom that I wanted to be a teacher so I could show them how to do it right. My attitude hasn't changed much.

I've been waiting to have my own classroom for years! I love cleaning, organizing, arranging, color-coordinating, and decorating. If you can make it pretty, I want to and I have a good time doing it. My dream is coming true! I have my first classroom and so many ideas of what to do that I can't decide. So I am recruiting your help.

Let's start with a visual.

Enter my classroom.

Notice first, my SMART board, computer, and document camera!

Second, I have a stage. Yes, a stage! Who asked for a stage?!

Next, please observe my green chalkboard. Yuck. Hate chalk.

Means I'll be using Smart board more often.

And also, fugly bulletin board.

Notice the random chairs, desks, filing cabinets.

Big windows in the back.

Soon to be big empty wall.

That bookshelf is going to the back.

My computer cart is going on the stage.

First things first. A lot of this cluttery crap will be moved out by the janitors. The big honkin gray desk and tan partition on wheels in picture 3. Also the long blue table of computers in picture 4. I get four student computers in addition to my teacher one in picture 2 and the one connected to my smartboard in picture 1.

Color. I want to paint my walls! Teal and aqua are my favorite colors. I want to do the two short walls in picture 1 and 3 in teal. Then the big tall walls in pictures 2 and 4 a pale seafoam/mint green/bluish/aqua-y color. Not overwhelming. Calm and cool. Just see it in your heads people!

Seating Arrangement. I'll have two computer tables against the window walls in picture 3. My desk will kind of be diagonal to the stage facing the window wall.

I DO NOT WANT MY DESK ON THE STAGE. In case you were wondering.

I'm thinking of doing pyramids of 3 for the student desks. I have to fit 22 desks in there at the least and again, I have a stage! Which will make things awkward. I like horseshoe shapes too so I haven't totally decided.

Decor. I've gotten a lot of suggestions from my people on math related artwork, showing student work, using magnetic paint, posters, and plants. I'm a simple kind of girl. I don't do overly busy and lots of stuff. My motto is less is more. My whole idea I'm trying to create is a beach colored, calm, serene atmosphere. I'm thinking about a palm tree. I saw some cute hibiscus flower wall stickers. I like the idea of fake flower arrangements around the room to brighten it up. I have a couple of cityscape posters I inherited that I might hang up. I really like the idea of painting a section of the wall with magnetic paint and hanging student work or other important things there. Is it possible to paint a bulletin board with that stuff? Because that would just be handy dandy.

Hmm...what else. I thought about a cool carpet/rug on the stage. Both to make it prettier as well as more comfort for my feeties. I'd also like a mirror. Mirrors brighten up the room. Plus I like to look at myself almost as much as the teenagers do. Also might help me keep an eye on the class. ;) Should I put out some personal pictures? Like from my past vacations, when I was in school, family, etc. Keep in mind that I went to this high school, my younger sisters are currently in high school there, they all know someone I know, and vice versa.

Seashells. Books. Music. Lights. Other furniture. I'm open to suggestion. Any ideas? Please please please comment or critique. I'd love to hear what makes your classroom unique!


  1. be careful about the cart on the stage, could it be rolled off?


  2. Good thought, but I think it is heavy enough that it doesn't freely roll. Also, my thinking was to put it on the stage to keep it out of the way of traffic. If it's on a stage, I can easily see anyone trying to get close to it because hey, they're on stage. Will keep that in mind though.

  3. "less is more." Right on. My first class room was filled from floor to ceiling. Looked fascinating to walk into, but very distracting it you were a student and especially a spec ed student. As you decorate make sure that every once in a while you sit in a students chair. It is not important how it looks to you, but how it looks from their perspective. Think of flow, and get a good feng shui book. Even if you don't want to believe in the power of feng shui, the reality is that most of the guidelines make great sense in a classroom.

  4. Don't try to do tooo much. . . remember, you've still got to do a lot of other things to do. . . set a deadline to be finished working in your room and focus on lesson and stuff. I'll reread tomorrow and submit comments on the actual decorating process!

  5. I totally related to your post today--I loved school so much when I was little, I played school on the weekends! I know, I'm too cool for words. ;)

    I am a school psychologist now, so I don't have my very OWN classroom, but I do love going into a bunch of different classrooms and seeing how they organize their space. I really wish there was a TLC show that did classroom makeovers...ahhhh. There's nothing like a well designed space. I like when teachers designate certain spaces for certain activities, so the kids can rotate among the centers and know what they are supposed to do there.

    Maybe you can enlist the kids in the design and make it a geometry/measurement lesson. :) Then they can feel some ownership and pride in the space.

    Have fun!

    Have fun!

  6. Rebecca,
    I totally agree! I would love a Trading Spaces for the classroom. That would be so fun! The janitors at my school are freaking about me painting the walls, let alone doing anything super cool!

    I like the idea of centers too but don't really know of a good way to incorporate that into the secondary classroom. Something to work toward. But I do like the idea of giving students some control over the design...