I made a really hard decision a few weeks ago to pick up everything and move to a new town and take a new teaching position. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make because I loved my old school, my colleagues, the students, and the community. I was comfortable were I was at but I knew that I needed to make the choice for my changing life.
I broke the news to my principal and started packing up the classroom I created into my own the past three years. It was hard not only because it was my first teaching job but because I am a low key hoarder and had more things in that room than I thought. I made a huge pile of “stuff” I have accumulated in my first years of teaching and packed the car to go to my new classroom. I said goodbye to my beautiful room and goodbye to my first teaching job.
I drove myself to my new school, met with my new principal, and stepped inside my new room. I remembered seeing the room at my interview but wasn’t sure how I was going to make the room my own. Every aspect of the room was different other than four walls and a ceiling. I sure had my work cut out for me! I think the teacher before me just got up and left because every shelf and drawer was filled to the brim.
Let me tell you, this project was bigger than I imagined and I could not have done it without my husband and family. They came in and helped me move things around, throw things away, paint and organize. I never knew how big of a task it was going to be moving from one school to another. I got started right away. I took everything out of the cabinets and put them on the ground. I had ginormous piles of “stuff” that the previous teachers have used. I mean I found things that were labeled 1996. This space needed a deep cleaning.
First, I took all the furniture I did not need out of the room. I am really good at organizing so getting rid of furniture cleared my space drastically. I threw away old material that I knew that I would never used and donated books to my local Goodwill. My space was finally coming together. According to the teachers, my classroom flooded a few years ago and the school district had to replace the wall with a white covering. It clashed against the egg shell colored walls and did not belong in the space. I asked my new principal if I could paint a wall and luckily she said yes.
Teacher Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask your administrator if you can change your room. Your classroom is your space and you need to feel comfortable in it. The worse thing they can say is no. Make your space your happy place! You deserve it.
My husband so graciously volunteered to paint my room. I was lucky to have leftover paint from my old classroom and he was willing to take time to make my room the way I wanted. It did take time but we got my classroom how I envisioned!
Teacher Tip: Use fabric for your bulletin boards. I bought mine three years ago and they are still doing great! Go to Joann Fabrics or Hobby Lobby and use coupons to save money. Well worth it and the colors are so vibrant!
My color scheme includes blues and grays. I have a nautical and under the sea theme in my classroom. I made curtains for my old classroom and was able to reuse them for my new classroom. The colors make my room feel calm and welcoming and they really transformed the space.
After the walls were painted and dried, I was finally able to start decorating and organizing. My favorite space in any classroom is the classroom library area and I was excited to get working on that first. I had my husband hang lanterns from the ceiling and move any heavy furniture that needed moving. I laid my carpet down and the space was coming together. To go along with my nautical theme, I created my Reading Cove for my students to get lost in their book. I am hoping that once school starts that the kids will love this area of the classroom.
I organize my library in two ways. I label each basket with an author, topic, or genre so students can find what they are interested in quickly. I also label each of the books with a colorful spine label so students know which basket to return the books in. The colored labels was the first purchase I made from Teachers Pay Teachers and it was the best purchase I’ve ever made. The spine colored labels can be found on TPT by Molly from Lessons with Laughter: Rainbow Book Spine Labels
Teacher Tip: You can never have too many pillows! Students can take them anywhere in the room to find a comfy spot. Just make sure you set guidelines with your students. If you don’t want them to lay their heads on the pillows, make it clear that the pillows are only to sit on or lean against.
I was able to organize my desks, cabinets, and teacher desk. I transformed my classroom completely and I am so excited on how it turned out. Enjoy the pictures of this classroom transformation!
I think I spent a total of $100 on my classroom this year just because I had so much stuff already and because I can never pass up a good bargain. The TPT products that I purchased for my classroom are linked! Happy school year everyone.