Oh to relive the first day of school. A time marked by lunch pails, trembling hands and kind teachers doing their best to put the sea of newcomers at ease. Teachers have a heavy load to carry. Not only are they in charge of shaping the minds of many, they must also create an environment that is both creative and educational. The first impression that many students have of their teachers is the moment they arrive at class and see the classroom door. The door is a place for a teacher to express her individual style and also convey her goals for the future of her students.
It is important when choosing door décor, to consider the students who will pass through it every day. Children of different ages will vary in their likes and dislikes of visual images.
Younger children may be more attracted to brightly colored pictures, numbers and letters. They may also be drawn toward animals and toys—things that may be comforting if they are new to school. Adolescents and teenagers may be likely to find cartoons immature. For this age range, icons that represent their experiences are more appropriate. For instance, popular TV shows, music groups or movies could all be incorporated.
Many teachers like to involve their students in the door decorations. There are several ways to do this. One way is to use a dry erase board to write daily riddles or curriculum-specific problems for which students can receive participation points or prizes. A math teacher might put an equation on the door and the student who answers it correctly receives an incentive.
Some teachers prefer to let their students design and decorate the door themselves. This might involve a contest where a class is broken into groups and the group with the best idea gets to decorate the door. Or the door could be a collaboration of everyone in the class. An English class, for example, might do a quotes theme where every student gets to choose a favorite quote and the quotes are taped to the door.
Teachers often change the decoration on their door to flow with themes in or out of the classroom. A teacher who wants her door to reflect the curriculum might change the décor every time the class begins a new book or project. For instance, a reading class teacher could decorate her door for each book that the class reads. If book one is the play
"Romeo and Juliet," the teacher could attach pictures that symbolize love and quotes from the novel, as well as images of Shakespeare.
Teachers may also change their door desecrations according to seasons or holidays. During Halloween a door might reveal pictures of ghosts and goblins, but when Christmas rolls around, simply covering the door in Christmas wrapping paper may suffice.
- Photo Credit mice graffiti image by michele goglio from Fotolia.com art student image by feisty from Fotolia.com