Why Decorating a Classroom is like Buying a Car...

The first half of this post has been edited from it's original content. Let me share a little about why. When I originally posted this, it was with only my personal knowledge and opinion about the topic. I sometimes felt shamed (yes, I'm choosing this word again because I'm pointing out how I feel, not necessarily a truth) into feeling bad about my classroom decor.
Some veterans on instagram kindly shared their take on the situation. I'm not being sarcastic or facetious. I'm serious. I appreciate it when people RESPECTFULLY share their opinions. Some of these teachers pointed out how MOST of the veteran teachers out there were discussing classroom decor out of concern. They are concerned that first year, or any year, teachers may not feel like they measure up because they cannot afford to buy "all the things" or decorate their room so extensively. 

The field of education can be tough. It's emotionally, mentally, and physically draining on some days. On other days, I feel like I've conquered the world. Either way, I look to my support team (friends, family, coworkers) to celebrate and vent. I never want any teacher to feel bad for their students or about themselves because of decor. It's just not that important. 

I'm thankful that we live in a place were we each get to be ourself, that we get to have opinions and share them, and that we can learn from each other. I didn't change my post because people were upset. I changed it because I gathered more information and used it to come to a new conclusion. Thank goodness for the opportunity to change our opinions and thinking.

I still believe that our classroom decor, however much or little, is a reflection of us as teachers. It is a reflection of the experiences we've had, the students we've taught, and the lessons we've learned. *end edit*

Here's a comparison for you. My sister drives a Chevry Camaro. It's modified. It's loud. It goes really fast. You know the one I'm talking about. I think it's beautiful.

I drive a Hyundai Santa Fe. It's stock. You can't hear it when I'm drive down the road. I'm not sure that it goes very fast because I'm terrified to get over 80. It's what some would consider a mom car although I'm not a mom. I think it's beautiful.

When my sister bought her car, she had some non-negotiables in mind. She had things she was looking for. She wanted something fast and sporty, so she didn't head for the minivans. She's single and works for the Navy; trunk space isn't a deal breaker for her (thank goodness because that thing shouldn't even count as a trunk lol).

When I bought my car, I also had some non-negotiables in mind. I like something roomy that sits off the ground a little. I like having lots of "trunk" space to haul all my teacher stuff around.

Here's the thing though, her car wouldn't be my choice vehicle. It just wouldn't work for what I want a vehicle for, but she loves it! Do you see where I'm headed here?

Every classroom is different. Every classroom has it's own teacher with their own personality. You don't mind about "trunk space"? Great. You need ALL THE TRUNK SPACE so you can organize your things? Great. You want to modify it with bright posters and flexible seating? Great. You want it stock so you can focus on other stuff? Great. It's ok. Whatever you choose is ok! You are enough just the way you are!

All never want anyone to feel overwhelmed due to what their classroom looks like. My first year, there was nothing on the walls. (Actually, there was a huge sheet of white butcher paper that I taped up to use as a projector screen.) My first year, I was just trying to keep my head above water. I was just trying to survive. I was trying to learn to teach a whole class of different personalities. My first year, my second year, my third year....I could go on. Each year, I learn something new about myself and my teaching style. It comes with time and decor doesn't make it happen any faster.

I'm inspired by anyone that steps into a classroom everyday and shares their heart with their students. You're more than enough; I'm sure your students would agree.
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