I have a confession to make. I’m a snooper! When I visit new congregations for gospel meetings, lectureships, ladies days, or any other reason, I frequently snoop. I like to see what other Bible class teachers are doing in their classrooms. Along the way, I have found some amazing, beautiful classrooms full of innovative ideas, art work, and interesting themes. I love getting new ideas from those types of classrooms for my bulletin boards, door decorations, and classroom themes. Those rooms say, “Welcome, come on in. The learning will be fun and exciting here!”
On the other hand, I have looked at some classrooms that scream, “Hazardous to your health, stay out” and should have police tape blocking the door! Those rooms look like it has been years since a teacher took an interest in the classroom. Nothing has ever changed. Students and teachers come and go without giving a thought to the classroom appearance.
So here are my thoughts for top 5 ways you can go from the classroom crime scene to a fun place to learn:
- Clean it up! Zero expense, but it can make all the difference! I compare my classroom to my home. I would never be OK with pencil smudges all over my walls. I don’t want my furniture arranged haphazardly or trashy clutter everywhere. That’s not comfortable to me. Why do we allow that to be the first thing someone sees in our Bible classroom? I know that we can get used to seeing things a certain way and may not even notice the clutter. If that describes you, invite someone with fresh eyes to come point out what they see in your room and what impression it is leaving with them.
- Change your bulletin boards. A bulletin board adds a decorative element as well as a learning opportunity in your Bible class. Not creative you say? You don’t have to be. Google bulletin board sites or look at Pinterest to bolster your creativity. Make sure that your border and paper color coordinate. Then display student work or simple posters. Just make it clean and fresh.
- Decorate your door. Just as with the bulletin board, you can find lots of great ideas on websites or on Pinterest. Remember that the door is the first impression of your classroom that will be seen by regular members and especially visitors. Let them know that the adult on the other side of that door is excited and ready to welcome their child.
- Don’t over do it. This one may step on your toes! Having a well decorated classroom doesn’t mean that you cover every inch of wall space with pictures/posters and have things hanging everywhere from the ceiling. Can you say “visual overload”? That may appeal to some people, but trust me when I say that it is a major learning distraction to many of us. Don’t even get me started on a kid with sensory issues!
- Plan a theme to your room. Probably the easiest theme would be seasonal. An example would be in the fall to plan a theme with apples, harvest things, and pumpkins. You can plan a bulletin board, door decoration, window covering, or whatever else with the coordinating colors and decor. If you’re studying a particular Bible character, why not design the room and bulletin boards to reflect that. Themes aren’t necessary, but can make a room really fun!
We can get so used to the way things look that we overlook what others see. Look at your classroom with fresh eyes and get busy updating! Surely I’m not the only classroom snooper out there! Much more, show your students how important this place is for their learning!