Then, as students get older and the desks get taller, classrooms start to turn…well, a little bland.
What happened to the bright colors?
The rugs on the floor?
The polka dot curtains?
The decorated doors?
Are those things reserved just for the tiny tots in the primary grades? To be honest, I don’t think I could picture students in chemistry class sitting around little decorated chairs doing a lab experiment, could you? And if you let high school students sit on a carpet square in the room for story time, wouldn’t they just fall asleep? And wouldn’t group desk formations encourage cheating?
These are all excuses we high school teachers come up with because, quite frankly, who has time for this?
There are syllabi to copy!
Lessons to plan!
Rosters to load!
Apps to be ran!
Yet, elementary teachers do many of these things and even though they may only have 30 students to our 150, they do have prep work that does not involve decorating. So perhaps high school teachers just decide that classroom aesthetics aren’t that important.
But… are they?
Do you decorate your high school room? If so, how does it impact the learning environment, if at all?
I’ve actually given this a lot of thought because I like a colorful room. I love hanging memes, quote signs, and posters relating to the novels we read. And an English classroom wouldn’t be complete without books! These things count as decoration, right?
I think having a happy-looking room will brighten the students’ moods. At least I hope it does. I’ve never done any formal research on the topic, but would love to see a study about this for secondary classrooms.
Please share how you “decorate” your secondary room. I’d love to see more examples of secondary rooms! And thanks to all the elementary teachers out there who bring color and joy into the lives of millions of school children each year. 🙂
Tracee just finished her 17th year teaching, the last 15 as an English teacher at Erie High School in Illinois. She has been married to her husband, Jason (a social studies teacher/coach), for 22 years and they have a 19-year-old son, Kale. Tracee enjoys watching her son play baseball and also loves reading, biking, and, of course, creating new things on Teachers Pay Teachers. You’ll also find Tracee pinning and posting on her favorite social media sites: Pinterest and Instagram.