This post originally appeared on the blog The SuperHERO Teacher.
Hello teachers – The SuperHERO Teacher here!
Extreme Makeover Classroom Edition is my way of giving back to the teaching community and providing deserving educators with the classroom environment I know every teacher wishes for their students. The giveaway gives me the opportunity to change the lives of any student who enters that classroom — which is extremely powerful and rewarding to me. In this blog post, I’d like to share the final reveal with you!
One of the most challenging components during this process is selecting a winner for the makeover. Let’s face it: every. single. teacher. deserves a classroom makeover and the funding/resources to do so… which is why it is SO hard to pick just one! I read through EVERY application I receive, because I want to make sure the makeover is a perfect fit for the teacher and what I have to offer. When I read Megan Decker’s post about her experiences on the Navajo Reservation in Monument Valley, Utah, something resonated with me and I instantly knew I couldn’t pass up this opportunity. The combination of her passion for helping students succeed and the need for resources in her wonderful community made me confident that she was truly deserving of the makeover. Meet Megan, a talented 9th & 10th grade ELA teacher!
This is Megan’s classroom before the makeover! She did her absolute best with the space she was given. The wall to the left had carpet on it, one wall was dry wall, and the other two walls were a yellow brick! Based on these pictures that Megan sent, I mapped out a detailed floor plan and renovation for the new room.
Meet the most incredible team on earth consisting of my beautiful mom, grandma, fiancée, and TpT bestie, Jessica Tobin! This makeover truly would not be possible without them. I made shirts that labeled our responsibilities and they remained pretty accurate throughout the process!
Our days started around 6:30am and ended no earlier than 9:00pm. We were determined to have this new space created for Megan in roughly 36 hours (with a ton of planning ahead on my part).
One of the most memorable and biggest changes in the room involved installing laminate wood flooring. After the first couple of planks were installed, the process flew by (only a few bruises and blisters, haha)! The new flooring gave the classroom a COMPLETELY different vibe. It went from standard to extraordinary in just a couple of hours.
In addition to the new flooring, I wanted to dedicate one wall as a statement piece using a stunning mural from Murals Wallpaper. When I told their designers what I was doing, they so generously donated this Rose Quartz Wall Mural for the classroom, and let me tell you, it truly made all the difference! Not only did it make a big impact when you walked in the room, but it also provided the perfect backdrop for motivational posters I designed.
After 36 dedicated hours and a ton of hard work, the ladies and I were ready for the reveal! We called Megan in separately at first (along with her parents who visited for this very moment), and her reaction was simply priceless. Her gratitude was overwhelming, and I knew instantly that she and her students desperately deserved this.
Here’s what the makeover included:
- New desks and chairs from Wayfair
- Storage and decor for each of the desks
- Flexible seating options
- Purposeful classroom decor and interactive bulletin boards
- Motivation and diverse decor
- A conference location for Megan and her students
- A Zen Zone
- A reading nook
- New teacher desk and chair
- New flooring
- Wall mural from Murals Wallpaper
- Fresh coat of paint
- A new classroom library donated from my incredible friends, family, and followers
- A whole lot of love, time, and dedication
Whether I’m designing my own classroom or conducting a classroom makeover, I like to make sure that every piece of decor in the room is purposeful — which is why I’m a fan of using interactive bulletin boards. This first interactive bulletin board is a reading challenge displayed in the reading nook.
This Reading Literature Challenge Interactive Bulletin Board is designed to encourage students to read and think outside the box! Each student is given a bookmark with 12 different challenges on it. Throughout the school year, they work through the challenges and read novels they may not have read previously. For example, one of the challenges is to read a book on the New York Times best seller list! This bulletin board display is for sale in my Teachers pay Teachers store, and you can find it here.
This second interactive bulletin board is dedicated to whole-class journaling. It’s a way for students to express themselves and share it with their peers. On each of the hexagons displayed, there’s a writing prompt. Students will choose the corresponding journal, and write their entry. Their classmates will then have the opportunity to read the entry and write their own! This bulletin board display is called “We All Have a Story to Tell” and it’s available in my TpT store here.
Arguably one of my favorite spaces in the room is the Zen Zone. This is a cozy little space where students who are feeling extra stress or anxiety can go to simply escape the chaos. I created a Zen Zone booklet that includes meditation, yoga, and breathing techniques/exercises, as well as student challenges to inspire mindfulness. The Zen Zone also included:
- Zen Zone booklet
- Yoga mats
- Motivational/Self-help books
- Aromatherapy/essential oils
- A cozy, relaxing atmosphere
This makeover took place on the Navajo Reservation in Monument Valley, Utah, so I wanted to be sure to include their culture into the design of the room. I created these diverse, motivational posters for the space. They are simple, but leave a powerful impression.
This activity is called “Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover: With a Twist”. I included 20+ wrapped books with a hook/description on the front to inspire students to read the novel without judging it by its cover first. The TWIST is this: when students are done reading a book they enjoyed, they can head to the wrapping station, fill out their own hook/description, and attach it to their wrapped book to convince another student to read the book! You can find this resource in my TpT store here.
This Navajo poem was a statement piece I wanted displayed in the classroom, so a friend hand-lettered this beautiful piece for me. The deeper message of this poem truly resonated with me as we worked to complete the space for Megan and her students.
How powerful is this simple poster? Hear our voice. My hope is that students will read this and feel empowered to make a difference in their community, society, and world.
I wanted to gift Megan and her students with the power of literature by completing a brand new classroom library. Not knowing where to begin, I asked my friends, family, and followers to donate diverse books to the library, and donate they did!!! I was blown away by the number of books and resources sent in from the people who support me the most.
I want to also use this as an opportunity to express my gratitude to all of the teachers, TpT Teacher-Authors, and friends/family who donated books and supplies to the classroom makeover. This makeover would be truly impossible without your help and support! If you are interested in applying to win a classroom makeover or seeing more details about this makeover, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook as I post updates regularly.
If you’re interested in transforming your own classroom space, I’ve created this 20-step challenge to guide you through the process. I include actionable and measurable steps along side videos to help you create the environment and atmosphere you and your students deserve. Check it out here!
Keep making a difference,
The SuperHERO Teacher