Décor, Décor, Décor: Bursting or Barren?

There were a lot of things to get used to when I moved from working with middle schoolers to elementary students. I traded B.O.  and AXE Body Spay for tying shoes for one thing. Another huge difference between the two is with regards to classroom set up and decorating.

Here at Space on the Spectrum, we know that there are two ends and everything in between here in education. You’ve got high functioning to low functioning, organized to chaotic and when it comes to décor, less versus more.

At middle school, I’d seen a couple of posters on teacher’s walls.  Usually they had something to do with a favorite team or character.  There were also a couple of puns here and there,  but overall, things were pretty barren when it came to décor.  Elementary school?  Whole different experience.  I walked into a world of class themes and decorations.  Elementary school definitely leans towards the more bursting end when it comes to classroom décor.  So it is with more that I will start…

More More More! Bursting Galore!

Education draws in some crazy creative people whose classrooms are just bursting with decoration. In my building there’s a reading specialist who changes her theme each year. One year it was the “Comprehension Castle” and the next it was the “Reading Rodeo”. These weren’t just some catchy names either; she had floor-to-ceiling decorations. There’s another teacher in the building who’s got a “panda-palooza” going on in her room complete with bamboo. Another teacher has a polka-dot-paradise thing going on complete with large decorative paper pom-poms hanging over student desks. Check out pinterest or google and you’ll find some really incredible classrooms. There are also a lot of commercially available products out there that will let teachers have their theme on practically everything you can think of.  Here are some really detailed and fun ones I’ve found online:

Patriotic Theme Classroom

Patriotic Theme Classroom

Ocean/Beach Theme Classroom

Ocean/Beach Theme Classroom

Hollywood Theme Classroom

Hollywood Theme Classroom

As I’ve said, I’m an OCD over-decorator, so I fit in with the other crazies in elementary education. I love the idea of having a perfectly decorated classroom and will even admit to having a very “detailed” theme to my classroom. (Though I certainly am not changing my theme year to year! We are sticking with READY, LAUNCH, LEARN and the space theme I’ve got going on.) Both Jessica and I will have picture tours of our classrooms here soon!

However, even though I stick with the same theme and colors each year, since I’ve had to move my classroom each summer except this one, and I get bored, I do tweak it a bit.  I also try and make sure that my decorations can stand being up for the majority of the year, and don’t get me in too much trouble with the fire marshal.  Since I wasn’t moving this year, I even snuck into the class next door and gave my teammate a little bit of a theme to call his own.

Superhero Theme Classroom

Superhero Theme Classroom

While the “decorated” classroom certainly gets more credit from pinterest, and people often view the more decorated teacher as the more dedicated teacher, looking at the “less” end of the spectrum of decor is compelling. Check out my next post on décor where I take a look at the other end- less.



  1. As a middle school teacher, 8 am undeniably “less” decorated. To be fair, I thnk that has to do with the fact that in the last 7 years, I have had 7 new classrooms. It is heartbreaking to get a space set up, only to have to move and start from scratch (on my time!) each year. Best of luck this year!

    Liked by 1 person

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