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New classroom, major fixer-upper.
Old 06-07-2022, 01:53 PM
 
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I'm moving to a different school site and will teach in an old portable classroom in fair condition. I've taught in a similar classroom before, so I'm familiar with the layout and upkeep.

I would appreciate advice on giving a rather sterile classroom a facelift. The furniture in the room is in decent shape (it isn't broken), but it could use some TLC. I have:
Rusty metal teacher's desk
Kidney table (good condition)
Old metal filing cabinets (2)
Old metal storage cabinet
3 particle board bookshelves

Walls are bare except for a long whiteboard and a window with ugly blinds.

I can't paint anything, and the blinds have to stay for now.


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Old 06-07-2022, 03:15 PM
 
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What about contact paper for the teacher desk? They have some really cool prints out there.

I’d leave the walls and hang up student work and anchor charts. You can make a “WOW Wall”.
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Old 06-07-2022, 05:41 PM
 
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Can you paint the metal file cabinets and storage cabinet? I don't know if you just can't paint the walls, or really can't paint anything. I did mine with black chalk paint and it has held up really well and my kids use the side of the file cabinet all the time with magnets.

Curtains or some kind of nicer looking shade for the window, and keep the blinds up and out of sight.

Adhesive vinyl tiles have worked well for me instead of contact paper. They don't peel and are easy to cut to size.

What color are the walls?
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Old 06-07-2022, 09:20 PM
 
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I like the idea of using contact paper and/or vinyl tiles. I've never used either, I always put up fabric and had good luck with it.

The walls are a drab beige color.

I can't paint the walls or furniture. I'm not 100% sure about the filing cabinets, I got the message that I shouldn't do anything to the room that can't be "undone" later. Given how the room looks, I expect that was the mandate for the previous teacher as well.
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Old 06-08-2022, 05:32 AM
 
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I found white board contact paper and used it to transform my file cabinet into a teaching surface for small groups. I've also used cheap plastic placemats as decor. Can you use those on your shelves?


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Old 06-08-2022, 05:39 AM
 
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Quote:
I got the message that I shouldn't do anything to the room that can't be "undone" later.
Then I certainly wouldn’t put contact paper on any furniture that you can’t paint! Contact paper would be tough to “undo”
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Old 06-08-2022, 06:03 AM
 
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Perhaps a colourful border around the whiteboard? And making border “frames” on the walls to display student work?
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Old 06-08-2022, 06:23 AM
 
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You could use washi tape (buy at Walmart, in different designs/colors) on the furniture. I used it before and it comes off easily. Just put it along the edges of the furniture, or frame it out on the drawers of the file cabinet, to brighten things up.

You can also get a tension rod and hang a small (short - above your head) curtain in the doorway to make the entrance inviting. Do the same with the window, but make it longer sheer colored curtains to still let in some light without showing the blinds.

I put one of those table skirts around my teacher desk to brighten it up. I also put one on my computer table.

Another teacher used a curtain to go across the top and down the sides of her white board. That drew your eyes to it and you didn't even notice the rest of the room.

I had a "sweets theme" so I hung candy from the ceiling (lanterns in plastic wrap) to add to it as well.

I'll try to attach pictures to show you a few things that I did. Sorry if it posts sideways.
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Old 06-08-2022, 06:24 AM
 
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Here's another to show the skirt on the computer counter.
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Old 06-08-2022, 06:25 AM
 
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And the last, showing the skirt on my desk and another tension rod/curtain on a bookshelf.


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Thank you!
Old 06-08-2022, 12:12 PM
 
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Thank you for the suggestions.

SusanTeach, wow! Thanks so much for sharing the pics. It looks so good! Did you make the skirt?
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Old 06-22-2022, 04:24 PM
 
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Thanks! Sorry I just saw this! No, those are plastic skirts that I bought at a teacher store one time and Amazon another time. You could make one if you're crafty. Just use inexpensive material and velcro along the edges.
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Old 06-23-2022, 06:10 AM
 
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We can’t paint or use contact paper. We use bulletin board paper and border on our old filing cabinet sides and teacher desks. It can last a few years. We decorate the drawers with magnets and seasonal decorations. We use material/curtains with tension rods to put in the bookcases. I do like the teacher desk with Velcro and material. I may try that next year.
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Fabric or beach towels
Old 07-21-2022, 09:07 PM
 
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I toss themed, colorful fabric or beach towels on top of my teacher desk and tables. Beach towels work best -no raw edges to hem. Attach cool posters to your metal filing cabinets and shelves. Colorful baskets, stuffed animals and open standing books always dress up the tops of shelves and white board ledges. Calendars have great pictures you can reuse for decorating with a theme or for writing prompts ( birds, cars,trains, bugs,space,etc).
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