One of my favorite parts of a new school year is setting up my classroom! I enjoy decorating and organizing my own house and a classroom is no different. Since as a teacher you spend so much time in your classroom, I believe it is super important to create a space that is not only functional and inviting for your students, but is also one you enjoy spending time in. We all know it’s not uncommon for a teacher to spend upwards of 10…11…12 hours a day in their classroom. Let’s make it a place you like, too! I’ve had many classrooms across many buildings over the years and thought I’d share eight creative ideas to decorate a secondary classroom!
1. Clipboard Gallery Wall
Clipboards are an easy, inexpensive way to create a gallery wall! Display some fun prints that go with your classroom theme or use the clipboards to display student work. Click the link below to grab these free prints I’ve created.
2. Letter Ledges
A few pieces of wood, command strips, and marquee letters are all it takes for a fun way to display an inspirational quote or joke for your students. The ledges themselves are two thin pieces of wood glued together, stained, and then attached to the wall with velcro command strips. The exact letters I have are currently unavailable, but here is a comparable set.
Use a peg board to organize student supplies. I love when functionality meets cute and this does just that! Supplies are organized and can be easily found by students and it looks cute, too. The pegboard accessories are from Ikea, but these exact ones are not available anymore. Though, any hardware store will have several options as well.
4. Accent Walls
I’ve had classrooms with no windows, which left me with a ton of wall space to decorate. An accent wall adds interest, but not clutter. One option is to use peel and stick wallpaper for a fun accent wall. This is probably my most complimented classroom decoration decision ever! Another year I created a 3D flower display across the wall with construction paper and paper fans from party city. It made such an impact!
4. Desk Skirts
Wrap your desk in a fun fabric! This is a super easy way to add some personality to an otherwise blank space and it hides any technology cords you might have! The last few years I have used stitch witch to hem the fabric, but it’s not necessary. Simply trim the fabric and hot glue it to the top of your desk! I’ve always been able to just peel the hot glue off when I was ready to change out the fabric.
5. Fun, Unexpected Themes
I’ve always been a fan of centering my classroom decoration around a theme. But, what’s even more fun is to pick something that is unexpected. This allows you to show a bit more of your personality or interests. My absolute favorite theme I’ve had was Harry Potter, complete with floating candles! I once had a coworker design her classroom around the tv show, Friends. Even her objective on the board was always something like “The one where…”. So clever!
7. Bring in Some Cozy
Classrooms can feel so sterile sometimes, but there’s a lot we can do to remedy that. One easy way is to bring in some lamps and/or string lights. I never even turn on the fluorescent lights in my classroom! Another way is to create a lounge area for students. A little corner with a couch and a rug lets students know that you want them to feel at home in your classroom.
8. Don't forget about your agenda Board!
One place we forget to make interesting is the agenda board. I mean, we want students to notice it, right? I’ve switched to a digital agenda and have that projected on the screen as students walk in. With a digital agenda, I not only can reference bell ringers and such from year to year, but I can also add some personality to the board. You can incorporate your theme in the display or change it up often- whatever you want!