My classroom is a typical HS Chemistry room. Black lab benches, wooden cabinets and drawers, a Periodic Table hanging on the wall. I have some inspirational posters, but otherwise nothing spectacular about the room. As I left the classroom in June I knew that something needed to change for next year. I began to troll Pinterest looking for classroom decorating ideas. I stumbled across a neon and black theme and fell in love.
I can’t paint my lab benches so I bought neon Duck Brand duct tape and wrapped the edges of the benches to give that neon pop.
Each bench has its own color. I am also in the process of wrapping all of the desks in the same colors. This is the way I am going to create lab groups. Something along the lines of ‘ok, if you are at a green table, find a partner and go to the green lab bench.’
I absolutely LOVE my new bulletin board! Again, another idea I took from Pinterest. Instead of a boring announcements board with Class Guidelines and other school information, this board sends a positive message about what kinds of behaviors are expected in class. Words such HELPFUL, INQUISITIVE, FUN, WEIRD, and CARING, tells students that I want them to be themselves, but negative attitudes can be left at the door.
These are just a few pictures of some of the changes. All of these ideas came from elementary classroom setups because of so few HS teachers that are posting pictures of their room decor. I made these changes in the hopes that I inspire my students, but in reality, I did it to inspire ME. Teachers spend 8 hours a day for over 180 days so we need to be happy teaching in that environment. We can’t worry about others appreciating our efforts or receiving praise for setting up our rooms. We need to do it because it makes us feel better about ourselves.