I'm not quite sure when beautifying your classroom became such a trend. Don't get me wrong, teachers have always worked hard on their bulletin boards, but one look at Pinterest and it's easy to see that classroom decoration has been bumped up a notch. Colour-coordinated bulletin boards in trendy colours and patterns, comfy reading nooks with couches and giant cushions, soothing lighting and giant cardboard trees abound. And why not? Why shouldn't we transform our cinder-block walled, institutional-looking classrooms in to places where teachers and kids want to be? It seems logical that students will learn better in well-organized, cohesive spaces, intentionally designed by teachers to invite them in.
Having embraced this concept, we went shopping! We went shopping in the school, gathering tables, cupboards and chairs that we could re-purpose in our space. We went shopping in our own homes, finding cork boards and fabric. We went to Michael's, the dollar store and the teacher store, buying the bits and pieces that make this room an inviting space for kids and teachers.
We're pretty proud of the final product but are always on the hunt for new things to dress it up. Who doesn't want an ever more beautiful, organized space to work and learn in?
We've all been there - it's early September and you're full of optimism, energy and ideas for the new school year. Your classroom looks amazing (Pinterest- worthy even), you have the first few weeks worth of lessons prepped and ready to go and you can't wait to get started on that new multi-disciplinary unit you just know the kids are going to love. The year stretches out before you, bathed in the golden glow of "I am sooo ready for this year".
Then the kids show up. Within weeks, days even, all that time you thought you had is taken up by running club, school-based team meetings and a million small demands that add up to a mountain of work. You still want to do all those cool things but you find yourself looking more closely at which ones you really want to do (that or you stay up all night prepping). That golden glow you felt a few short weeks ago is not quite so golden anymore.
But, just as you begin to worry that this is completely unmanageable, you get a little breathing room. The chaos of the beginning of the year settles down, routines start to become, well, routine and you realize that you will be able to do that cool unit you wanted to do, with a little tweaking. Life is good again.
Ah October, you are the new September. We had every intention of starting this blog in September (I even had romantic notions of doing the first blog post on the first day of school. Silly me.). Then the kids showed up and we got caught up in actually running The Lit Pit instead of just planning it. And we've been loving it. But now it's time to start recording our plans, our progress and our successes (and maybe our failures too, I'm sure there will be a few). So, here's to our first blog post; may there be many more!
We've started this blog to document the journey we take building, implementing and re-working The Lit Pit. We're a little late in starting, but that just tells you how busy we've been getting The Lit Pit up and running!
We would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions as we go, so please feel free to share your comments with us! Enjoy the read...
I'm Bryn, teacher, mom, book lover, athlete. I am passionate about living life with my family, teaching and learning something new all the time. I hope you find something that speaks to you here on my blog and would love to hear from you too!