A new teacher (year 1!!) across the hall from me is stressed out about the beginning of the school year. Besides the fact she has a bunch of cases being piled on her (yes, she is an intervention specialist and yes, I give her mad props), she also had a terrible student teaching experience for her second semester. She feels extremely unprepared (as we all did on our very FIRST day ever), but her main concern this past week leading up to the start of school has been the fact that her walls are so bare. Don’t we focus on the strangest things? She just finished school and is living at home, but has yet to get a paycheck and cannot afford to buy all the pretty, flashy things she sees at teacher supply stores and online. She looks in my room and sees 4 years of posters -flashy Teacher’s Discovery ones that were a gift and some dated ones from former Spanish teachers (essentially hand me downs).
What she failed to notice at first were all of the handmade decorations that I made myself (or printed from other teachers’ pages – like Martina Bex’s TpT store and this FREE download). She came in my room after I was all done and said “How did you pay for all this stuff?!” “My room is so boring” “My walls are so bare”. To which I just laughed because that is exactly how I felt 4 years ago! I told her if there is one thing I can teach her this year, it is that the best “decorations” are the ones that YOU create for YOUR students.
My students could care less about the “boot-verb” poster I have from Teacher’s Discovery. They prefer the signs I printed from Martina Bex’s store and put on neon colored paper. They like the Minions sign that I made in Spanish from an English meme and the explanation of “llevar v. traer” because they often forget the difference.
I could see the relief on her face when she realized she did not have to spend hundreds of dollars on posters and decorations.
After all, YOU know the curriculum, YOU know what you want them to learn, and YOU should get to use the fonts and colors that you like! 🙂