Last January while traveling to a basketball tournament, I was scrolling through Pinterest and came upon the coolest classroom I had ever seen.
Here is that classroom if you want to see what I mean: COOLEST CLASSROOM
The wheels in my brain started spinning like mad, and I started to wonder if it would be possible to do something like that in my own classroom.
I brought up the idea to my partner teacher, Amanda, and as always, she was totally on board. She really is the best when it comes to out of the box, crazy ideas!
We brought it up to our principal who told us to write up a proposal and prove to him it could work. We did...he approved...we got to work!
Some of the reasons for wanting to do this:
1. Create a warm, inviting, cozy, and relaxed space for kids and myself to work.
2. As our school is growing, the tables were not working well in the tight classroom space.
3. This atmosphere pairs well with our iPad program.
4. I've been teaching for 17 years, and I needed to spice it up!
My original plan was to paint two of my four walls. Here is one blank wall and a dirty floor.
At this point of the summer, I had already started buying random and quirky pieces of furniture. It was all smooshed into the room while I tried to decorate and work around it.
Such a crazy mess all summer.
Purple is my favorite color, so I chose that for my first wall.
I made some mistakes along the way such as not using the proper roller size for the foam that I had. I wasted a lot of time and paint by still continuing to use this roller. Lesson learned.
People are quite surprised when I tell them that I did all the painting myself.
The purple wall took me two days to complete.
It's a little streaky, but I can live with that.
Where am I going to put all this furniture?! Even with only one wall painted, the room took on such a different feel!
Then I started on the opposite wall. While purple is my favorite color, I think I like this blue wall even more than the purple one!
Painting brick is HARD!
This wall took a few days to paint as well.
I was teaching summer school out of this room amidst the chaos! That was a challenge!
It slowly came together.
Done with painting the two walls!
But everything was still a mess. Plus, the janitor needed to get in and clean the floors.
One of the pictures for my gallery wall.
A giant, super fluffy rug that is looks way bigger rolled up in the corner than it does rolled out on the floor.
I have one super long storage cabinet that was underneath my windows. I needed to move it to the purple wall for better furniture layout. Imagine my disgust at realizing there was no tile under the cabinet. Oh well!
It still got moved. I plan to paint the ugly brown doors.
Years of junk falling behind the cabinet.
After painting the two walls in such pretty colors, I couldn't bear to leave the other two walls the ugly cream. I really hadn't plan on painting all four walls, but I couldn't help myself. I wanted to do pink and grey. Eric convinced me to tone it down a bit with just grey. And it turned out to be so pretty and the best decision.
I knocked that wall out in one day.
I think Eric and I did a great job choosing a grey that complimented both the purple and the blue.
Both corners are so pretty.
I don't know which combo I like better!
Floors are clean, the rug is rolled out, and I slowly started getting furniture situated where I wanted it.
I'll probably switch out my hanging stars for something a bit more girly and fluffy!
Having a love seat in my room is awesome! But sometimes I wanted to just lie on it rather than work!
I really hit a stall in finishing up the final grey wall trim areas. I finally had to put my big girl pants on one day and just GET IT DONE!
And then I took another rest!
School started on August 11. I've got to say, leading the kids into the classrooms and hearing the gasps of surprise and delight was one of the coolest things I've experienced as a teacher! It was truly a great project that I did for the kids and for myself, and I really, really, really wanted them to like it!
The project will never be fully finished, but here are some up-to-date as of this morning photos that I took of my room.
Standing at the front classroom door. The floor is supposed to get tiled, but for some reason, it really doesn't bother me! It's eclectic like the rest of the room!
An all over look from front door, which is at the back of the classroom.
Eric was helping me this morning. He has been tremendous in helping me with this project. I am so lucky to have a husband who doesn't even bat an eye when I say I've got this huge idea! He runs with it. He's the one who found most of the furniture.
I wanted a coat rack, but these hooks are even better.
I love this round bar table and chairs. I plan to get curtains to go over the windows.
I need to hang up the mirror.
Mary and Jesus are going to live on the long counter.
My art pieces need to get hung on the wall. The bicycle picture is my favorite! I saw it many weeks ago and just fell in love with it. Now I get to look at it almost every day!
I spray painted my little plastic caddy pink.
Enough shelving space for storage and decorations.
My desk area. The goal is to keep it uncluttered!
There are quite a variety of chairs. Kids can sit on the floor if they want. They can rock, They can hold pillows. It's been great for the first two days!
I mentioned to Eric that I wanted this retro frig, and it magically appeared in my classroom! I didn't even notice the box at the back of the room yesterday for several hours. I was in the middle of teaching algebra when I saw it and squealed! I joke that I mention something that I want to Eric, and it becomes mine. I need to start mentioned diamonds and jewelry! Just kidding!
Besides couches and cushion chairs, there is also this table and chair set and another short table with stools for kids to choose for their work space.
I have no doubt that issues are going to arise. I plan to have kids choose a variety of seats to experience different locations around the room. The goal is to have them become self aware in knowing where they work best for different tasks. So far, there doesn't seem to be a clear winner of a favorite spot to sit.
I also know that we will need to overcome things such as flat surface needs. I wanted to wait to see what I needed. I might purchase clipboards or lap tables. I wanted to respond to the needs in an organic way rather than guess what might be needed.
In any case, I am soooooo excited to be in this space to do my work. I love being surrounded by pretty things. I want to decorate and spend more money than I've ever been willing to spend! I want the kids to feel happy, comfortable, and eager to be in the room. So far, they seem to be all of those things.
Eric and I went to Hobby Lobby today. I've never been there before, and it was phenomenal! I had to exercise serious restraint! However, this Cinderella coach was something I couldn't resist!
Now I just need to find the perfect spot for it in my classroom!