Every year when back to school season hits, social media is flooded with teachers sharing their ideas and purchases as they set up their classroom for the new year. And that’s great! Social media is a fantastic place to find new inspiration and bounce your own ideas off others. So what’s the problem?
Sometimes a trend will take social media by storm, and every teacher scrambles to get the latest and greatest decor item for their classroom. Milk crate chairs, bright pom pom accents, chevron carpets, even a certain color scheme can become trendy. This year the big trend seems to be lightboxes. Don’t get me wrong, many of these ideas are awesome and help to create a learning environment that both you and your students can enjoy. Classroom improvements like adaptive seating, or a new carpet for group time will always be beneficial. I only caution that sometimes these trends can become overwhelming. Back to school is stressful enough without worrying about whether your color scheme is trendy this year! Ask yourself a few questions before buying a new decor item for your classroom:
What is motivating me to make this purchase? Will it improve the learning environment for me or my students? Do I have the time and energy to impliment this in my classroom? Is the cost worth the benefit? Is there a way I could make this myself instead? Am I buying this because I need it, or just so I can take a picture for Instagram? Is this something I will throw out in a year, or does it have durability? Does this match my own design wishes for my classroom?
You can also consider these questions in a handy infographic form!
These questions aren’t meant to make you feel bad for buying something that is trending, or to say that you shouldn’t buy trending items in the future. That lightbox you purchase might be the highlight of your classroom this year! It’s simply important to be clear and honest with yourself over why you are purchasing something, and to make sure its right for you and your students, so that you can save time, money, and energy this busy back to school season!