It’s green. Not just any shade of green. A juicy shade of green that you only want to imagine floating around in your weekly gin and tonic.
“This is your new classroom, you will be spending most of your placement time in here,” welcomed my new mentor; as my eyes scanned the luminous, neon walls that were decorated with brightly coloured stimuli.
“Fabulous!” I replied, imagining that I was going to have to spend the majority of my placement requiring sunglasses.
The classroom environment propelled me on a nostalgic journey down memory lane, as I started to reminisce about the classrooms that I had once studied in. I thought back to the bleak, damp KS3 classrooms I suffered. Especially that antique one in the school mobile (rumoured to be temporary for only a year) and 20 years later has the same chipped, beige paint crawling off the walls. I thought about how I would rock on my chair and daydream at the technicolour, glitter fest – like a fairy had sneezed all over the walls in KS1 (as my teacher fed me that classic one-liner about the girl who once went to hospital because she fell off her chair).
“Are you excited to get started then?” beamed my mentor, who must have been scanning my face for a sign life. “Yes! I’m so excited” I confessed as I snapped back into the present.
I couldn’t help myself but think, when did everything get so small? Was there always this much educational clutter and did I like it? Why does it seem to look like a rainbow has fallen out of the sky and melted all over the walls?
Prior to starting my journey into teaching, I would spend hours trying to imagine what my classroom would look and feel like – and I still do now. After completing four years in fashion design, nothing gets me feeling more like Picasso than the imaginary classroom I am setting up in my head. What kind of stationary could I now have an excuse to purchase? How can I create the world’s best display to rival Neil Buchanan? The answer – the possibilities have always been endless… but they were never meant to be green.
Now, I imagine at this point you are now thinking, why am I reading a blog about this girls adversity to the colour green, what has green ever done to her? The point is that, this classroom is where you spend the majority of your time; it becomes a home, it’s somewhere you will grow to feel proud of and you will nurture as your own – just like the children you have responsibility for. Unfortunately for me, my mentor quite likes her green walls, pristine displays and white board markers on the left hand side of the desk – but that’s okay. My ideas are still brewing inside of how I could conduct my 60 minute makeover and implement every type of teaching tool that I champion.
At this stage in the course I am now excitingly close to acquiring my own classroom, with my own rules and the displays that will develop as we learn together. Come September I will have my own environment to lead and grow and the more I reminisce, the green walls have now become a fond memory of the children I have had the pleasure to teach. Perhaps my mentor is right – maybe the pens do need to be on the left, I don’t know – but I’m sure I will find out when I bring my imaginary class to life!
So my advice, as you commence your teaching journey, is to learn from every experience, find out why green is the in-colour this year and make your own mind up about the kind of teacher you want to be – and if you don’t want to live in a green painted jungle – just remember in September you don’t have to.