Michelangelo had the roof of the Sistine Chapel.  Leonardo had the walls of monasteries.  I have a classroom.  And a boatload of posters.

For me, the point of decor in a classroom isn’t necessarily to impart knowledge, although students may look at or read the posters and learn something.  It’s supposed to make the classroom a fun, engaging, welcoming place to learn.  I’ve had some teachers over the years who knew their stuff and were great at teaching it, but their classrooms felt incredibly sterile – that always turned me off.  But a classroom with a bunch of stuff up?  It started conversations, brightened up the place, and made me more eager to go to that class every day.  For that reason, I have been chomping at the bit to take possession of Room 105 and put my own mark on it.  And Saturday afternoon, I finally got it.

World history posters needed.

Most of my posters are seeing the light of day for the first time since June of 2010, when they were packed up at Robinson High School.  The biggest pain over the past two days has been to take them out of the tubes so they can flatten out and then divide them into several categories – U.S. history posters, other social studies-related posters, sports posters, and miscellaneous.  The first thing I noticed is that almost all of my history posters are of things pertaining to American history, a subject I won’t be teaching until 2014-15, when our current freshmen are finally juniors.  Eric has offered to let me buy some world history posters on the school’s nickel – and I will – but like I said above, as long as the posters are interesting, I don’t think it’s the worst thing if they don’t pertain exactly to what the kids are learning.

Collegiate apparel from these two schools strongly preferred within the walls of Room 105. I suppose Tobacco Road colleges’ gear will be inevitable given our location, but if you wear Alabama stuff in my room, God help you.

Posters also provide a great way for the students to learn something about you – your interests, favorite teams, favorite movies, etc.  For five years at Robinson I was famous for my Charlotte 49ers schedule posters – a poster for every team with their schedule for the year and pictures of the seniors.  I’ve scaled that back – for now – but I have some green on the wall, and now I have a second school to celebrate with all my Auburn stuff.  I was also sure to put up my Carolina Hurricanes regalia to ingratiate myself to the Triangle-area students, as well as all my political posters.  I’m hoping that the parents don’t think I’m pushing my politics on their kids because I’m showing the Democrats love; it’s just that I’ve never been to a Republican’s presidential library.

From the posters to the four-person tables that foster groupwork and discussion (seen in the picture that heads this post), I think I’ve succeeded in making my classroom fun.  I can only hope that when the kids come through the doors one week from today, they’ll agree.