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Beyond the Cave

Beyond the Cave

Classroom Customization

Summerville teachers decorate their classrooms to make them unique and festive
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Leila Stuart
“I had a lot of flags. I have five senior seminar classes and two world history classes,” stated Mr. Atkins when asked about his choice of classroom decor.

Teachers often love to decorate their classrooms.  Each teacher has their own, consistent, unique decorations and styles.

The primary way many teachers customize their classrooms is by adding posters and pictures to walls. All of the teachers Beyond the Cave interviewed had wall decorations of some sort or another.

Mr. Suggs is known school wide for his love of Disney, which is reflected by the decorations on his walls. He voiced in an interview that his favorite Mickey-themed decorations were the older styles.

“I decorate my class so it is entertaining to students. Obviously, I like something [Mickey Mouse], and there’s some historical stuff, some of it is historical Disney and some of it is pretty much stuff that is entertaining,” stated Mr. Suggs.

Mrs. Caldera also likes to decorate her wall. She puts up pictures of bears and student work around her classroom. Her favorite decoration is a bear painted by her grandma that also has seasonal clothing.

“That little bear over there by the door with the little valentines, my grandmother painted that and I have outfits that she painted for every holiday. It’s just nice to see that everyday and the students seem to appreciate it too,” shared Mrs. Caldera.

All of the other teachers interviewed by BTC also had wall decorations that related to their classes. Mrs. Banks has charts of verb endings on her wall, and Mr. Atkins has flags around his room.

Mr. Bainbridge is known for having posters around his room. He chose the posters he has in his room because they show different styles.

“I wanted to put movie posters up that displayed a wide range of interests in film and cinema history,” explained Mr. Bainbridge.

Some teachers also shared their favorite decorations. Mrs. Banks has a fox pelt that she got from Austria and loves.

“Probably my fox skin because I got it from an old lady that was my neighbor in Austria when I was 10,” shared Mrs. Banks.

Mr. Patey’s favorite decoration is…

“My trophy plaque, to inspire mock trial kids next year to win,” Mr. Patey stated in an interview.

Mr. Patey and Hallinan share a room, and each is happy with the situation.

“I have that little corner. It’s okay, I’ve become a minimalist, I’ve embraced minimalism…Change is good, I have gotten rid of a lot of things I haven’t looked at in a long time,” shared Mr. Patey.

Another way teachers alter their classrooms on the fly is by reorganizing desks. There are three major desk organization configurations: the U-shape, rows, and groups.

Of the teachers Beyond the Cave interviewed, three had U-shaped desk configurations—Ms. Hallinan and Mr. Patey (who share a room) and Mrs. Caldera. Mrs. Caldera voiced that she likes the communication abilities provided by this configuration.

“It does, but I sometimes worry that students think that I’m the center and that’s truly not what it is. I have no desire to be the center. I like that when there are conversions happening they are talking to each other,” stated Mrs. Caldera.

Ms. Hallinan also noted why this manner of organizing desks can be useful. She stated that the U-formation allows for student led discussions, as students can face each other across the room.

Teachers have many things that they do to personalize their classrooms. Going into the future, this is set to continue until even newer teachers have found their unique styles.

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Leila Stuart, Copy Editor
Peyton Skinner, Photo Editor
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