Part of teaching is decorating your classroom. You also want to keep things neat and organized. This will help your students also be orderly and learn better. I would start with the teacher’s desk being in order. Students will see a clean, neat desk and hopefully follow after you both inside and out of their own desks.
Decorating is not always a favorite of every teacher. Some are better at it than others. It does take time to get your classroom to look nice and decorative. When I taught fifth grade my first year of teaching, I had to make a lot of my own bulletin boards. These bulletin boards are great for everything from writing guides to school-wide announcements. Teacher stores were just about coming out at that time, so there was not too much available to buy. It was also very time consuming to draw and cut out items. Who has that kind of time when you need to prepare for lessons, correct papers and do lesson plans? It literally took me hours to do one bulletin board.
Now it is very simple. You just go to the teacher’s store and buy what you need and it is very acceptable today. I decorate my classroom with seasonal cutouts. I have cutouts for each season and I have them in large envelopes. Every month, I put up new ones and decorations according the season or holiday. I use them year after year. Then I have posters up of the topics that we study throughout the year. I usually leave them up all year. Principals, students and parents like to see the students’ work displayed both in the hallway and in the classroom. I also put things on the wall besides the bulletin boards. It fills up the room more and it looks a lot nicer.
My desk is always neat inside and out mainly because I just cannot work well with a messy or disorderly desk. I have to know where everything is at all times. Whenever my Principal hands me a paper with information or dates, I write it in my weekly calendar book immediately, then I get rid of the paper. Otherwise that paper will just clutter the desk and sit there until the date something is due. It can also get lost or fall off of the desk, then get thrown away by the end of the day. So it is better to just write it down right away and get rid of it.
I have a one piece (seven trays), metal, desk tray on my desk. There is one for each subject. Every time I make copies of something, they go right into the tray until it is used. This way my desk stays clear of all papers at all times. The only thing I have on my desk besides the tray is the scotch tape dispenser, a tissue box, stapler and another desk tray for students to put things in for me. Trays also work nice for students when they can each have their own. I keep those on a shelf and they put their homework papers in there, I put their test papers that I return in there too. They know they are not to keep any loose papers in their desk at any time. By having a tray, it helps them to be organized too.
If you are a first year or new teacher, it may take some time to get organized and learn how to decorate. You don’t just want to put up a bulletin board just for the sake of not leaving it blank. These things should be thought out well because the students will also benefit and learn from bulletin boards.