The first year of teaching is a challenge. One of the biggest obstacles you will face is finding ways to create an inviting classroom on a fixed budget. Eric and I hope to offer you some tips that will save you both time and money.
1. Back to School Sales
Many teachers hate to see fliers and advertisements out already in June for Back to School sales. But this is a prime opportunity for you to find amazing bargains. Stores such as Target, Wal-Mart, Dollar Stores and others will have items on sale that you can use to help decorate your classroom. Take advantage of these sales.
Also, online retailers such as Amazon will have deals going as well. Don’t forget to shop online for some great bargains.
Yes, you heard us right, tablecloths. These inexpensive household items are great for bulletin boards. They are sturdy, colorful, and last longer than the cheap bulletin board paper. You can use them year after year.
Depending on your grade level and your interests, you will want to pick a theme for your classroom. We have seen themes range from sports, to jungles, to oceans, to even animals. Whatever theme you pick, you may be able to find discounted items at the above-mentioned stores or even garage sales. Believe it or not, garage sales can offer some great deals for teachers.
4. Name Tags
Many teachers spend money every year on desk name tags, only to have them peel off at least once during the school year. We have found that oil-based pens are a great way to write your students’ names on their desks. They come off easily with a expo marker and magic eraser too!
The best time saver we can recommend for you is your friends. When you are set to start decorating your classroom, enlist the help of your friends. Not only will it save you precious time (that you will need to learn curriculum, lesson plan, read cumulative files…), but it will also be more fun for you as well. Rely on people around you!
If you liked this blog post on our inexpensive ideas for classroom decor, you will want to check out The First Year Teacher eBook with 29 pages of helpful tips for beginning teachers.
You will also want to check out our companion guide: The First Year Teacher Resources which contains 40 different items you can use your first year of teaching!
Thanks and here is to a successful first year of teaching!
Brian and Eric