Teachers spend as much time in their classrooms as they do their homes, so why not make your work space a comfortable, warm place to be? Not only will decorating your classroom keep you comfortable, relaxed, and inspired, it will also help your students feel motivated and comfortable when they enter your class. Here are a few simple ways to make your classroom more welcoming on a limited budget.
Change up the color
Many schools will allow teachers to paint their own rooms. Choose warm, pale colors or neutrals for a relaxing atmosphere. Avoid bright reds which can stimulate anxiety. While cool colors like blue and green can be relaxing in the right shade, stay away from gray undertones that can make the room feel more like a prison than a classroom. If you cannot paint your entire space, consider putting up a mural on one wall or hanging colorful, inspirational posters to help add some vibrancy to the room.
Get rid of the fluorescent lights
While they are certainly economical and bright, standard school office lighting often comes in the form of fluorescent, office style lights. These lights can be bright and glaring and even induce eye strain if your room doesn’t have a natural source of light. Keep windows open to let sunlight in and consider investing in a few inexpensive lamps to provide lighting with a warmer, less stressful glow. If brand new lamps aren’t in the budget, hit the thrift store and yard sales to find mismatched lamps to scatter through the room. Economical LED bulbs can provide fire-safe, energy-efficient lighting that is far less harsh than overhead ceiling fixtures.
Soften the room with fabric
Kids love sitting anywhere but in their desks so make your room comfortable to be in. Use floor cushions, pillows and carpets to provide reading or study corners. Use drapes to soften window features. You can even use colorful fabric on bulletin boards to provide a splash of color that won’t fade and will soften the features of your room. Fabric is often an inexpensive way to add a little comfort and warmth without needing to renovate and redesign your entire room. Just be certain you’re buying flame retardant materials for the safest possible space.
Add a personal touch
Nothing will make your classroom feel more welcoming than adding a personal touch. Don’t be afraid to hang some of your own pictures and posters, bring in a few trinkets for your desk, or add a few personal items to keep your space comfortable to you. That great picture of your family trip last summer might really help relax you on hectic days. Let the kids personalize your space too. Make sure you leave a bulletin board for student class work and shared pictures and drawings. With a little bit of personal attention, your room can be far more welcoming for a price that’s easy on your wallet.
How do you add a personal touch to your teaching space? Please share with us!