Avoiding classroom decoration destruction
| November 06, 2023
Being able to have classroom decorations is an added benefit to being a teacher. Having plain white walls with nothing on them would make their students bored faster. Decorations allow for students to get creative and think easier while becoming more engaged in learning.
Destroying Classroom Decorations: A New Trend
If you're a teacher, you may have seen or heard about the latest TikTok trend that involves students vandalizing and stealing school property like classroom décor. According to We Are Teachers, this trend, known as "devious licks", has caused a lot of frustration and anger among educators who spend their own time and money to create a welcoming and engaging learning environment for their students.
As a teacher’s kid I know my mom worked hard to get her classroom just right before the school year. She’d bring her own books to create a little library and supplied most equipment in her class, including glue, scissors, pens of various colors and whiteboards. My mom had a theme every year that would help keep her students engaged in learning; this often meant buying new decorations every year for each theme.
Classroom Décor Should Be Engaging
According to Edutopia, classroom decorations should be interactive, collaborative, and student-centered. They should invite students to engage with them, such as by asking questions, giving feedback, or sharing ideas. Yes, the posters on the wall do have something to do with the subject a teacher teaches. Teachers use them as references to help them educate students, but oftentimes these posters get torn down by students that are either bored or just want to cause havoc.
How Did the Pandemic Affect Student Behavior?
Student behavior has been a big problem since the start of COVID-19 when learning from home began. They lost their social and interaction skills because they weren’t able to communicate or hang out with their friends every day at school. Coming back to school in-person has created more bad habits in students than teachers ever could have imagined. Beyond bullying, other destructive behaviors have grown.
According to an EdWeek Research Center survey, students are misbehaving more now than in 2019, up from 66% in December 2021. Even so, student misbehavior is no excuse for them tearing down teacher’s personal belongings in school.
Teachers must hold students accountable for their actions if something like this does happen. Classroom management systems are a must if you want to keep students in order and keep their misbehavior to a minimum. Something like a rewards system or consequence system can incentivize students to act more mature.
After 20 years of being a teacher, my mom had to enact many rules to keep her decorations or items safe. Her classroom library required students to check books in and out and if any belonging was destroyed she would require them to spend their recess sitting outside with her instead of playing with their friends. The ramifications don’t have to be crazy and it may help their reactions in the long-term. If they keep this habit, their actions could lead to teachers keeping their own possessions at home.
Classroom Decorations are an Essential Tool
Decorations are an essential tool to learning and students shouldn’t take them for granted. When I was a student in elementary school I loved getting the privilege to use items my teachers provided. My teacher had rewards systems in place so that if we did well in our class we’d be able to choose a prize. A system like this could motivate kids to want to learn more if they had the means and incentives to do it.
More Than Eye Candy
As you can see, classroom decorations are more than just pretty things to look at. They are powerful tools that can enhance the learning environment and the teaching experience. However, they can also be vulnerable to damage or theft by students who may not appreciate or respect them. Therefore, teachers need to find ways to cope with this challenge and protect their decorations from harm.
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