Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I'm a Low-Key Teacher

Maybe it's because I'm a new teacher and don't have a lot of stuff. Maybe it's because, as a new teacher, I spend all my energy on instructional stuff. Maybe it's because I'm a guy. Maybe it's because I'm a middle-aged guy. Whatever the reason, I just don't do a lot of "cute" stuff.

I don't do a lot of decorating. My bulletin boards are covered with brown paper or black fabric (and the black fabric was there when I showed up). On the boards are photos of the kids, work by the kids, or "musts" (our weekly goals, the calendar, etc.). I do have posters on the wall but mostly of those are things that we've generated...or things that I put up at the beginning of the year so the walls wouldn't be bare. Decorating is exhausting for me. I tinker to try to get things just right - and everything takes longer than it should.

I'm okay with being the low-key, not very decorated, classroom and teacher. But sometimes I worry when I look at what other teachers have. Their rooms are covered with all kinds of stuff. (Most are 15+ year veterans.) Their celebrations, even ones they label as low-key, seem elaborate and sometimes even have tablecloths and decorations from the ceiling.

At our 100 day celebration, my door looked like this.


Here's a close up.


It had 80 100s at the beginning of the day. The (20) kids each decorated a 100 and added it to the door so we would have 100. That's all the decor I had. We did some fun things with 100 - counting and stuff. But not much cute decor or games or food. Just low-key.

The room next door? A 100-banner to walk through. Signs hanging in the hall that read "100 days smarter!" (Of course, she has a room mom that handles stuff like that. I don't.)

As I look at other first grade blogs (and browse Teachers Pay Teachers), I see lots of cute things. All the handouts or activity sheets or whatever have great clip art on them. I use some of the cute freebies I find online. But when I make sheets, usually there are only words, numbers, and blanks. Not a lot of cute.

Is that a problem? I worry about it when I see what other kids carry from their rooms. And what other teachers put in their rooms. Maybe I'm not doing enough. Maybe I need to be more like them to be a "good" teacher. (But, deep down, I think it's okay.)

My kids? Well, at each celebration we've had, I have heard a version of "This is the best day ever!" I guess low-key is okay after all.

4 comments:

  1. :-) low key sounds very good to me!

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  2. I think this is great! I've been in some early elementary (K-2) classrooms that are an assault on the senses--way too over-cute-i-fied, in my humble opinion. Low key makes sense to me.

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  3. Low key is perfect! In my opinion, you shouldn't have too much distracting " wallpaper" on the walls -- unless the kids have generated it themselves. Posters and too much store bought decoration isn't relevant and means very little to the children. Keep up the great work!

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  4. This cracked me up! I guess I'm a "cute" teacher. But I try not to over do it. I bet your classroom is exactly what it should be! :)

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