#WorstToFirst #WorstToNotWorst Classroom Decor

Last year, I can remember at least 3 times being visited in my classroom by my principal, who glared around my room at its bare walls and muttered “This classroom depresses me.” 1

So this summer, I spent a little bit of time 2 working on coming up with SOME better way to get my room to my liking, and a few weeks ago, I started working on making some changes to it. The biggest was switching the orientation of the room from LONG to WIDE, adjusting the projector and whiteboard accordingly, and adding in a ginormous map to one of the walls. Also, with the assistance of my amazing wife, we got a couple of cool new paint jobs to make life a little bit easier for yours truly. Check out what we did!

I’m super happy with what I’ve got in so far, and there are still a few things to do:

  • Mount a new Samsung 2.1 wireless soundbar that I picked up from Groupon for only *muffled voice that sounded vaguely like “$120″* so my classroom can have decent sound without running all kinds of cords all over the place.
  • Decorate the heck out of those bulletin boards to start out fresh.
  • Figure out something long and skinny I can put on top of my whiteboard—perhaps a timeline?
  • Put up my handsome “Romeo & Juliet” poster from Litographs.
  • Put up my custom-designed “Double your rate of failure” poster. 3
  • Waiting on a package from China 4 with a secret weapon for my classroom—Tweet-sized/themed “I Can” statements that will live on my wall all the time and be marked as which ones we’ll be using that day. More on this to come…

However, aside from those couple of jobs, I’m jazzed about what I had! I don’t know that my principal will be able to wander into my room and just be floored by what thing we did, but I know that at least I went from easily the worst in the school to a couple of spots better than that


  1. Noted.
  2. And money… Oh, the money…
  3. … that seems to be taking forever to get here. FYI: If you have the choice to print pictures online, avoid Artscow.com. Cheap pictures that are apparently good quality, but they clearly take the slowboat from China the long way around the globe.
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4 thoughts on “#WorstToFirst #WorstToNotWorst Classroom Decor

  1. Jeff Hall says:

    It looks great Chris! Your work shows. I, for one, really like the minimal aesthetic in class. I actually find some classes alarming – there are pictures and words and colors and lamination everywhere (so much lamination) and I wonder where the space is for thought. I think your room is more than ready.

  2. lorij2014 says:

    I always start my year with completely blank walls. By the end of the year, the walls are covered with student work. It took a while for my old principal (a former primary teacher) to adjust to that, but now she agrees that by mid-year it is a pretty awesome room to walk into and the kids are super proud of seeing their work everywhere. And it doesn’t cost me a cent!

  3. It looks great – I love all the natural light! I would have liked to see a “before” picture to see how “depressing” it was. 🙂

  4. Great job Chris. I agree with previous comments that you should start with some blank walls and display student work as the year progresses. Adding anchor charts that the students help create make what hangs on the wall more meaningful. Good job on making your classroom better than before. Good luck this year!

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