Tuesday, June 17, 2014

More Than Meets the Eye

If you are like me, you have read your fair share of articles that bash teachers and continually paints all teachers in a negative light. It gets so frustrating because I know that these assumptions do not describe me or the majority of the amazing teachers that I have had the privilege of working alongside over the past six years. While there will always be ineffective educators and leaders in education, the same can be said about every profession. 

That's why it was so refreshing to read "What You See in Today's Public School Classroom is a Mirage" from The Huffington Post. It was almost like Carla Friesen had been in my classroom and knew my story. As I read, I could only shake my head or put a check mark next to another example that she used in her article because it described something that has just become a normal occurrence to me. I don't even want to try to calculate how much money I have spent on my classroom and simple classroom supplies, like pencils or erasers. Is it required of me? No, it's not; however, there is no way that I could run an effective classroom without being able to provide the basic necessities to my students. 

While I was extremely lucky to have a large classroom and tons of technology, that didn't make up for the gray walls and uninviting space. I knew that I needed to brighten up the space and create that welcoming environment for my students. It's taken me years to create and finetune that colorful and inviting learning environment. Again, I didn't have to do this or spend countless hours and dollars on my classroom, but there was never another option for me.

This is what my classroom looked like before I began to put my time, money, and effort into it.

Four years in and still working on creating a bright and welcoming classroom.

My sixth year marked the biggest improvements to creating a warm and encouraging learning environment.

I purchased all the school supplies that you can see in this photo.
I want my students to have the best learning experience possible in my classroom. I want my students to feel welcomed and safe in my classroom. I want my students to only have to worry about thinking critically, collaborating with classmates, and challenging themselves during our lessons. Ensuring that these things happen each and every day takes hard work on my part-physically, mentally, and financially. It is a price I am happy to pay because there are few things in life more rewarding than seeing my students grow and experience success.

How do you go above and beyond to create inviting and engaging learning experiences in your classroom for students?


  1. I saw the same article and loved it! I buy supplies and posters. Teaching books and tons of lesson plans on TPT. I buy awards and treats, books and movies. Anything they need to learn, be successful, and to leave my room happier than when they arrived.

    1. Same here, Amanda! Last school year I was able to give my each of my students six novels by Rick Riordan as rewards and treats throughout the year. It's such a great feeling as a teacher to be able to provide these thing for my students.


  2. That was a great article, wasn't it. I think you're right. We shouldn't even guess how much we spend on our students. Your room looks very welcoming!
    Grade 4 Buzz

    1. It was a great article! Thank you, Lisa!