It's no secret teachers don't make the big bucks. After all, we're not in it for the money, we get something much more than that out of our days. That being said, I think it's fair to say we get very invested in what happens in our classroom (see what I did there?).
So what is the best way to create an inviting learning environment without breaking the bank? Keep reading to see how I set up my class this year with a $200 budget!
Since I've been victim of over-spending in my class, and because I want to save myself and others the trouble in the future, I've set myself a challenge of limiting my new class decor spending budget to 100$. That quickly got spent, and I updated my budget to $200 - I felt this was less than usually gets spent in a year, but still enough to buy me a great classroom set up.
First lesson in budget shopping:
Prioritize your Shopping List
Reduce, Reuse & Recycle
Well now that you've made your list and prioritized it, time to start slashing. That's the reduce part. It would be nice to have those cute IKEA leaves, a document camera, or even a giant rug for classroom morning meetings, but the reality is, schools have limited budgets, teachers definitely have limited budgets, and, as a famous Brit once said, you can't always get what you need. Accept it now that your classroom can be beautiful and fantastic and still be 'missing' things. We get by.
My recycle element takes place when my family clean up their respective homes. I love that they know me well enough to ask before they throw out any furniture or decor accessory- before a pillow, lamp, or frame gets tossed, they always ask: do you want this for your classroom? The answer is always YES (because if I don't, a teacher colleague probably will!). This summer, I got frames, and old board games. Not bad! Make sure your friends and family know to ask you this important question when they are updating or cleaning up their homes!
Reuse: the easiest element for any decorating teacher. Visit any salvation army to find great deals on board games, books, frames and pillows. I got some wooden IKEA frames from the Renaissance (thrift store) for only 75¢ each! I plan on using this for a classroom management tool that I will show in a future post, as well as display areas for classroom pictures. Since I had some change left in my budget, and decided to buy some new pillow covers at my corner Dollarama- but I am reusing last year's pillows.
The Final Round-up
Stay tuned to see how it all fits together in my new classroom!
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