After shuffling classrooms and grades for the first part of my teaching career (for the first 6 years I was either in a different classroom, different grade, or a different school all but 1 year), I have finally been in the same room and same grade for going on 8 years. This is both good and bad.
Doing the same thing for so long allows you to become an expert at what you are doing. You figure out what works and what doesn't. You perfect your teaching strategies for the concepts you teach. You learn from your students so that you can better teach future students.
But you CAN also become complacent and even lazy. For this reason, many principals like to perform "Topsy Turvy Turnovers" where they mix everything and everyone up.
I would not say I have become complacent or lazy with the way I teach (definitely not), but I think I had with my classroom design and decorations. I used to change themes and decor every year. However, I have had the theme of "Mrs. Hill's All Star T.E.A.M:Together Everyone Achieves More" for the last 5 years. It was a great theme that served every student I taught and lent itself to lessons on teamwork and goal setting. But it was time for a change.
So at the end of the last year, I cleaned out my room, dejunked my cabinets, and began a complete renovation of my classroom. I painted all of the bookcases and storage units black, whereas before they were all differing colors of wood grain. I also hired someone to repaint the walls and trim a cheerful yellow trimmed with a clean, bright white, whereas they were light blue walls with a dark blue trim.
The change in color did amazing things to change the feel and mood of the room. It is so cheerful that it makes you smile when you walk in! The new color coupled with black, white, and red decor lends itself to so many themes. I love the scrunchy border! Check out how I made it!
My theme this year is P.I.R.A.T.E.S: Prepared Informed Responsible and Truly Engaged Students. I have added all kinds of pirate accessories from Oriental Trading, Hobby Lobby, Target, and Big Lots. It has definitely been a complete overhaul and I thank Pinterest for inspiration!
Even the outside of my room was completely redecorated so that it would draw kids in from the hallway. Check it out!