I used to be a traveling teacher, visiting classrooms all over the school, carrying heavy bags with everything I needed for class. After a few years of traveling, my school decided that I needed a room to settle and put a stop my itinerant ways 🙂 I was so excited, but I forgot that to keep a classroom efficient and effective also takes time and energy. Somehow, it doesn’t just happen magically!!

I decided to call this post “My Classroom: Make Over – Home Edition” because in the end, my classroom is the place where I spend most of my waking hours during the school year, maybe even more than my own tiny house.

This picture shows how everything looked when I first moved my stuff in:

First, I felt challenged to decide what theme I wanted in my classroom, and I finally decided that it was better to keep it simple for my sanity and my student’s clarity of thought. I find it overwhelming when teachers put so many decorations in the room that cause children to get distracted – staring at colorful eye candy but not paying attention to the teacher or classmates. This is especially true for me, since I’m basically a big distractable kid, and I get attracted to whatever is around me in my environment. When there’s too much, my head spins! So, I focused on what I needed to make a safe space for learning a foreign language with minimal distraction but still enough color and cultural elements.

This is what my room looks like now:

Flags that represent Spanish speaking countries.

A place to keep binders and folders for students’ work.

Family photos to share with my students.

A place with pictures of important personalities and books about Spanish speaking countries.

A little peace “garden”

Classroom materials with labels

Art from different places in the world

A homemade puppet theater for my younger students

Useful phrases in Spanish

Monsters mimicking conversations about the calendar in Spanish.

Reminders in Spanish.

Maintaining one’s classroom is a work in progress. I am sure I will rearrange it a few times before I optimize every single space for my students.

Happy teaching!