Teachers express themselves through classroom decor

Teachers+express+themselves+through+classroom+decor

Marisa Sandoval, Editor

Whether it is life size cutouts of historical figures, old huskie gear or scarlet letters, huskie teachers have it all in their classrooms. Adding unique decorations has been a way for many teachers to cover up their white walls and personalize their classrooms. Some teachers use their decorations to make their learning environment more fun, but others use the opportunity to give a nod to school spirit and tradition.

When I went to decorate my classroom I wanted to show off my Reno High gear from back in the day,” Sports Medicine teacher Ashleigh Rahming said. “I remembered seeing teachers with their letterman jackets hanging in their classrooms when I was a student and I always thought it was such a fun idea to incorporate some of the tradition that is RHS. When I began teaching here I wanted to also bring back some of my own tradition from my days at Reno High. I could not be any luckier that I get to share my love and tradition of RHS with my students daily.”

Over the years of teaching some teachers have built traditions within the classroom with projects that are done each. AP Language and Composition teacher Marie Ramsey pairs the reading of ‘The Scarlet Letter’ with a project where students create a word that represents a trouble of their  own. Ramsey then displays some of her favorites for future students to enjoy. 

“The letter assignment is a fun way to end ‘The Scarlet Letter’, which is a somber and challenging novel to read,” Ramsey said. “Students create and wear a letter that represents some “sin” or vice of their own, and we have a “walk of shame” where students present their letters in class. It’s fun, but it also requires some self-reflection and gives us a chance to learn more about each other.”

Ramsey has also taken advantage of her walls to entertain her students as she believes that if they are going to stare off into space they might as well learn something while they do.

“My walls are covered with art and posters and student work that I find inspiring and useful,” Ramsey said. “Since student’s minds will sometimes wander while we’re working, I figure it’s not a bad thing if they’re reading famous literary quotes on posters or looking at book titles on the banner that runs across the top of my whiteboard. A lot of students have told me they’re inspired to read more books because of that banner.”

Classrooms have also provided teachers a way to personalize a space for their students that allows them to get to know each other better. AP Government teacher Richard Clark uses his classroom walls to reflect his personality and teaching style. Clark also uses decor as a way to remember past students. 

“I hate white walls,” Clark said. “ I hate boring teaching.  I am trying, loud and exuberant, just like all the decorations in my room. It is an ADD kid’s dream or their worst nightmare. I have collected lots of history/political posters of the years and need a place to put them. A few kids gave me their old campaign signs after they finished their service hours and I decided it would be cool to collect them.  During my first year of teaching I had a couple of students give me pennants from the school they were attending.  I have been collecting ever since.” 

Every classroom is different, and many teachers still aren’t done filling their walls as they look for more unique pieces. AP U.S. History teacher Matthew Ochs is known for his life size cutout of historical figure Frederick Douglas. Ochs is now looking to find one of President Abraham Lincoln to accompany Douglas. Teachers are inspired both by their students and own personalities to decorate their classroom. They use their rooms as an opportunity to create a unique but also comfortable environment for their students.

We also have a great way to promote kids’ fitness and physical activity without them even realizing it. We call these school climbing frames. A crucial piece of equipment for any school playground or public park is a climbing frame. Even if their appearance has evolved over time, their advantages have stayed the same and go far beyond simple physical activity. They’re excellent for kids to socialize, have fun, and use up some of their seemingly boundless energy. See at http s://www.primaryschoolresources.org.uk/equipment/climbing-frames-for-schools for more details.