Isn’t that relieving? I used to spend so much time on Pinterest pinning adorable classrooms and sending my mom pictures asking, “Can you make this for me?!”
Want to know what I quickly realized? That’s not where I want to spend my energy. That’s not going to help me be the best teacher I can be.
You do not have to have the perfect, cozy classroom to help your students be successful in school. Here are some other things you don’t have to have:
- A theme
- A couch
- Cutesy chairs
- Throw pillows
- Cute rugs
- Author’s chair
- Rocking chair
- Bean bags
- Light filters
- Decked out bulletin boards
- Decorated classroom door
These are all things I thought I should have in order to be a good teacher. And I was the best version of myself as a teacher having none of them. Seriously. I did have a bean bag chair that someone donated to me one year, and I didn’t even use it the next year because I just didn’t have the space for it.
Your students won’t look to the classroom decor to see how much you care or how capable they are. Your students look to YOU to see these things. I believe the teachers who have Pinterest-perfect classrooms absolutely adore their students. I also believe that those who don’t, like myself, also love their students immensely.
But, the truth is, what your students need in order to grow as a learner and love being at school is to feel safe, welcomed, and loved. They need to know they can make mistakes, that it’s okay to be wrong, that you believe in them, and that you’re there to help them in any way you can. A boho theme is not going to show them that. A hug in the morning and a “How are you?” or “I noticed you ____” will.
Your students will thrive in a classroom that is a community. A place where everyone holds each other accountable to be their best selves. A classroom where they feel free to recognize that they need some space and will have the respect of others to take that space. A classroom where everyone is accepted and everyone is part of a team. That, to me, is a classroom more beautiful than a farmhouse.