(Disclaimer: this is not a critique, just a wondering/observation!)
I’m noticing many teachers (mostly elementary) posting about classroom “themes.” I get what they are, but I’m wondering when and where this trend began. I try to leave my room as blank as possible at the beginning of the year so I can start putting up kid art and work right away, so the students feel invested in and ownership of the classroom. It is not MY classroom, it is OUR classroom.
Those of you who choose to use classroom themes — I’m wondering why you choose to have a theme and how you choose it. Is it based on your interests, something you saw on pinterest and thought was cute, or something else?
I’m just feeling perplexed by this, because it is not something I would ever have thought of doing (or likely ever do). Help me understand?
I don’t do themes, per se, but the people I know who do, do them as a sort of “welcome to the classroom!” and to connect basic things they’d already be putting up on their walls anyways- for example, I could use a Hello Kitty calendar, HK nametags, HK weatherboard, HK themed letters for my word wall, etc… (you get the picture). I can see it as a nice way to pull things together.
(IF ONLY THEY ACTUALLY MADE HELLO KITTY CLASSROOM THEMED MATERIALS)
(But I wouldn’t choose HK, because I know many of my kids wouldn’t like it, so I’d probably choose something more neutral)
It’s funny, I don’t think I ever questioned why this was a thing. I planned for it but didn’t actually stop to think of why I did it to begin with. I just found ways to tie it into curriculum and decoration.
Actually I was going to go with Miss ____’s Garden, which allowed variation (various plants, insects, and animals) that didn’t narrow anyone by gender or otherwise, allowed for a rotational decorating theme that also reinforced lessons about seasonal changes and science, and allowed for my then-near-obsessive love of things apples and ladybugs (and also sunflowers, and sometimes owls). At the time, I figured I was planning for first or second grade.
I also used this, at one point, as joking retrospective justification for ending a failed relationship. “Miss [her last name]’s Garden doesn’t sound half as good.” As a joke, guys. As a joke. A horrible horrible joke.