Trina Deboree
Teaching and Learning

Teaching and Learning

3 Surprising Reasons Back-to-School Decor Matters Big Time

Getting your classroom ready for back-to-school can often feel like a daunting and overwhelming task. I mean you have back-to-school decor and decorations to figure out, open house, beginning of the year essentials and back-to-school printables to prepare and copy.  The list could go on and on! But you get my point. 

The other really tricky part of back to school is choosing a theme. Each year that I was in second grade (12 at one school), we would have a school-wide theme. The expectation was that we would all incorporate it somehow in our classrooms. Now some of us were smart enough to pick something fundamental and reuse parts of it again and again! {For example, we started with ocean, and my teacher BFF used the starfish for the stars in her space classroom the next year and then used the stars again in the western theme the year after that! She hated themes! LOL}

3 Surprising Reasons Back-to-School Decor Matters Big Time

Now I loved themes. Each year I would deck out my classroom to represent the school-wide theme. It was awesome! {But I was married and spending several hundred dollars on my classroom decor wasn't the end of the world.} However, after my marriage of 17 years ended, I had to get smart about how I spent my money. So I chose something that I would do again and again- Superheros! {I totally needed the good overcomes evil theme at that point in my life!} 

If I were decorating a classroom today, I would go with a Fixer-Upper style. Something like farmhouse decor or black and white that could be used again and again. Maybe I would support the theme on the outside of my classroom, but the inside could be used over and over. 

Either way, I was surprised to learn how vital back-to-school classroom decor matters! You might be as shocked as I was.

3 Surprising Reasons Back-to-School Decor Matters Big Time

1. First Impression for Parents and Administrators

Back-to-school open house is usually held before school starts in my district. So having my room complete has been crucial for parents and administrators who happen to be walking the halls. I'm not going to lie; it isn't easy to be ready for parents in the first week of teachers going back. In fact, I had to go back early EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. {Just so that I could accomplish the mammoth task of having my room ready for open house.}

Although it was rough getting everything ready on week one, I will say the years my coworkers didn't get finished with their classroom set up were filled with passive aggressive comments by parents about not being ready and murmurs of is that teacher prepared for my kid? Do I agree with this? No! But we all know how that can go. {I will say it does seem like parents in Title One schools are a lot more forgiving if everything isn't decked out like you are entering Disney World! A definite plus for working in Title One. }

So think of classroom decor as the first impression for parents. What message do you want to send to them? How do you want to present yourself right off the bat? A classroom can often speak for itself when you are busy talking with another parent. {If this reason irritates you keep reading. You might feel better with idea #2 and #3.} 

2. First Impression for Kids

Parents aren't the only ones where a first impression matters, the students are even more aware of the surroundings! So classroom decorations do matter big time for kids! 

One year, I had a young boy come into my room and look around in amazement. It was a superhero year for my classroom. I had Spiderman hanging from the ceiling, Batman standing near the science word wall, Thor's hammer hanging from the ceiling, and a cape attached to the Up, Up, and Away Word Wall. {All thanks to my son, who had outgrown all his superhero garb.} He looked at his mom and said, I'll definitely come to school now. The mom later told me that he was a very reluctant student who struggled in all areas. For me, that was a huge win. I knew I could at least get him in the door! {You have to win them over before the real learning can begin.}

3. Puts You In The I'm Ready Mindset

I've been reading a lot about mindset in the past few years, and I'm sure you have heard that buzzword A LOT. So let's get down to it. Mindset is an established set of attitudes that you hold about just about anything. So if I am feeling lazy and unproductive, I have to readjust my mindset. I may want to see my lazy demeanor as a reminder that I need to slow down and take a moment for myself. See what I did there? It all comes down to how and what you think about something. 

For me, when my room is ready and organized, I feel like I am ready for kids to come. If I'm still putting things altogether after kids come, it may NEVER happen. There is just too much that comes up after the children come back to school.  So having my room completed before back-to-school allows me to feel accomplished, organized, and prepared. 

As you can see, there are some valid reasons for having your back-to-school decor set up. So where can you find cheap classroom decor and back-to-school themed packs? Well, you will have to find out next time! 

In the meantime, here are a few themes I have done over the years. You might also find my blog post, Why Creating a Classroom Community is so Valuable, helpful for your back-to-school mindset. 

Until next time,
Happy Teaching and Learning

P.S. Follow me on Pinterest to see all my classroom themed boards: Ocean, Sports, Camping, Superhero, Space, Western, and Back-to-School