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My secrets to creating a classroom that will inspire and motivate.

Here in Australia we are heading back to school in just a couple of weeks after a long summer break. I am one of those teachers who loves to prepare their classroom for the start of the school year and I spend a lot of time heading into school over the summer break to clean, de-clutter and decorate. For me, this is the best way to start the year feeling fresh, revived and prepared. For a lot of teachers, they prefer to stay away from their classroom for the summer and take the time to recharge and renew in their own way – and that’s important too. You just need to figure out what works best for you.

One top tip to make your classroom warm and welcoming is to use plants. I’ve written about this before here if you’d like to know what the best low-care plants are for your classroom. Plants filter and purify the air around us and surrounding ourselves and our students with nature is proven to reduce anxiety and increase feelings of well-being.

One of the many plants in my own classroom.

At the start of the school year, your classroom can look quite bare without any student work to hang up yet. To counter this, I hang up home-made fabric bunting until I have some student work to display. If you are not a fan of sewing, you can pick up ready-made bunting at fabric and party supply stores. But if you are on a budget, I recommend making your own because you can use fabric scraps and off-cuts. I make it super simple by using pinking shears to cut out the bunting triangles so that I only have to sew the ribbon or binding to the top of the bunting. Using fabric bunting is also great because once you have made it, it will last for years and can be used for all sorts of events like class parties, graduations and fetes.

My home-made fabric bunting.

Pin-up (or bulletin) boards can also look very bare at the start of the school year. I make sure I always have a welcome message on mine which the students can read as soon as they walk in the door on the first day of school. This year I am using this cute, editable pencil-themed banner. If you like it, click on the image below to download your own copy to edit and display.

Editable Pencil Bunting