Is your classroom your happy place?
Mine is! It's not my only happy place. In my opinion, you can never have enough happy places! Why would you want to limit your happiness to just one place?
Alisha from Missing Tooth Grins here today to talk to you about something near and dear to my heart- my happy place. And hopefully your happy place too.
My first year of teaching was right before Pinterest became a big deal. For those of you who signed up early in the beginning like I did, do you remember that you used to have to have a referral code from a friend just to have a pinterest account? I remember being flooded with this wealth of knowledge and amazingness of not just spectacular classrooms, but organizational hacks, chocolatey delicious recipes, and ways to go from couch to 5k in just 4 short weeks. It was amazing.
Let's go back to those spectacular classrooms though. You know which ones I'm talking about too. The one that stands out to me still to this day is this space from my idol Reagan from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits:
Photo found here, courtesy of Reagan Tunstall.
Looking at this photo, I just feel plain happy. I would be delighted to go to that space every day whether to teach, to learn, etc. It looks like a happy place. It was exactly what inspired me to go that extra mile to transform my classroom into a happy place.
And as teachers, we want our classrooms to be our happy place. At least I do. Not my only happy place, but one of my happy places. I want to walk in every day and whether or not my dog peed on the carpet that morning or if I spilled my coffee in the car on the way to work, I could walk in and get a dose of instant happy. But why?
1. I'm going to start with the most important reason: our kids deserve that. Our kids deserve to walk into a room that makes them feel invited, safe, loved, and cared for. They don't know how long we spend preparing our rooms, but they do know if it is prepared with love. As corny and cheesy as that may sound, the warmth of the classroom will bring the love we feel for our kids every day. Our kids spend nearly 8 hours in our classroom every day, away from their parents, their family, their dogs. They should be in a happy place.
2. And the next important reason: we deserve that. We spend 8+ hours in our classroom every day. If you think about it, how often are you in just one room in your house for that long? Sure, during the school day, we take the kids to recess and get some fresh air ourselves and we (on the rare occasion) get to sit down to lunch or maybe even get to make a 10 second stop in the restroom, but for the most part we are in that one room all day long. For 8 hours or more. So, when you're in that room, you want it to be cozy, inviting, bright, cheerful, happy! This is where you are when you're spending precious time with your other family (your kids and coworkers) so you want it to be a place that you love to go to everyday!
3. When you're happy, your kids are happy. Have you ever noticed when you enter the classroom with a little more pep in your step, your kids react to it? They're happier, huggier, sweeter? Your happiness is contagious.
4. Greatness can happen there. I walk in my room and think that literally anything can happen. A kid could have a little potty accident on my brand new IKEA rug and you know, I can't help that. But, you know what else could happen? A kid could learn to tie his/her shoes that day after struggling for the past 8 months and right there, you have greatness. You don't have to have this over-the-top classroom to have greatness in your classroom. You just have to treat it like what it is: the greatest place on earth to you and your kids. Because it is. It's where your kids will learn to add 3+5. It's where your kids will learn their right from left. It's where your kids will accidentally call you MOM for the 30th time that day. It is the greatest place on earth.
5. Your kids will respect it. You will respect it. Everyone respects a happy place.
I'm not saying I went into teaching just to decorate a classroom. I'm not saying spend $50,000 on it either (although by golly, I definitely could). I'm just saying on those days when it's a little harder to wake up to your alarm, roll out of your cozy bed, and get dressed for work... It's nice knowing that once you enter that room, you're entering another happy place.
Have a fabulous rest of your summer! Enjoy it! I'm off to finish setting up my happy place! I have 19 little firsties coming in to make it their happy place too!