A few weeks ago, a student mentioned that she missed the bulletin board from last year with the different statements on it.
You know, this one:
I saved this bulletin board for last to take down at the end of last year. It's been the most impactful bulletin board of my teaching career. It wasn't just pretty. It made a difference in my classroom. I used it to correct my students. And, my students use it to correct me and each other. It made us think about our words. It made us reflect on what those words were saying about us and our attitude at the moment.
Yet, I'm the type of person who likes to change things up every year. So, the bulletin board came down. And, I put "make a new growth mindset bulletin board" on my summer to do list. I looked for something I liked better, but I never found anything.
Classroom drama meant that I didn't get into my classroom to decorate until a week before school started. Students arrived, and my bulletin boards were still blank.
As I taught classes, I found myself increasingly frustrated. One of my freshmen would announce "This is too hard!" I just wanted to point to the bulletin board and say "This will take some time and effort." The same sentence I said so many times last year. I found myself still saying this, but it didn't have the same impact.
As other teachers decorated their classroom, they kept tagging me on twitter with pictures of their new, beautiful bulletin boards. I was happy for them and sad for myself, all at the same time.
Friday, I started looking at my last blank bulletin board.
I still had the posters from last year's bulletin board. The question was - would they fit in this smaller space? I got my last period aide to staple as many of them up as possible. All nine of them fit! There's no room for the title, but I can live with this.
My classroom just feels so much more complete now.
Want the file to put this up in your own room? Check out this blog post.