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Big Changes for My Classroom

I have a secret to share with all of you.
A big secret. 
One I have been DYING to share with you but I had to wait until just the right time.

You know my beautiful kindergarten classroom?
The one with all the pretty colors?
The one that was a finalist for the Schoolgirl Style Challenge?
brightly and cheery kindergarten classroom
I moved out of that classroom this summer.

I know what you are thinking. Yes, I was nearly in tears as I packed it up. I loved that classroom SO much and I know that many of you did to.

You probably also want to know why I had to move. It’s actually a happy story. My school bought a new building. So all of the teachers have a huge job of packing up, moving, and setting up brand new classrooms this summer. While the new-to-us building may not be brand new, it is a HUGE step up from our old facilities.

Even though my new school building is absolutely beautiful, when I first walked into my newly assigned classroom, I had to take a deep breath. It’s a little smaller with lower ceilings and MUCH smaller windows. I loved all of the natural light my old classroom had to offer and I now need to get a little more creative with my use of color and space. This is how my classroom looked on day one.

my new classroom waiting to be decorated
empty kindergarten classroom
kindergarten classroom without furniture
empty kindergarten room
blank classroom walls
empty classroom

I know it doesn’t look like much. It’s ok. You can admit it. The room actually looks a little ugly in these photos. But I am not the kind of girl that can tolerate a bland classroom and I have been very busy trying to spruce it up. I even gave some of my Instagram followers a sneak peek at some of my classroom improvement antics.

classroom setup instagram photos

By now, the transformation is well underway and the room looks so much prettier than it did when I first walked through the door. Of course, I have big plans for my classroom and I am determined to make it even more wonderful than my previous teaching space. I’m pulling out all the stops this year and I can’t wait to reveal the finished classroom to you in a few weeks.


My new classroom is now complete and absolutely beautiful. Check out my photos and find links to create a similar theme in your own classroom.

beautiful kindergarten classroom
The new question that everyone is wondering: am I going to keep this classroom theme next year or change it to something new? What do you think I should do?

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Maria Gavin

Maria is a former kindergarten and first grade teacher, with 13 years of teaching experience. Her love and passion for all things early childhood is now fulfilled as a mom to two amazing kids. She loves sharing practical and creative tips and ideas that are perfect for young learners – in the classroom or at home!

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44 Responses

  1. Sorry to hear that you had to move out of your beautiful room; but it seems like your new building is going to be wonderful! I love all the storage that you have 🙂 Enjoy all your beautification.


    1. Thank you Debbie! I actually used to have more storage in my old classroom. But after a little bit of consolidation, everything should fit in the new room. Moving is good for purging old resources you don’t need anymore!

  2. Sorry you had to move, such a huge job but you will make the new space beautiful ! I do like your closet/cupboard area. I do not have a closet or teacher shelf in my room and really miss that. Can’t wait for the big reveal 🙂

  3. Exciting! I took a job as a reading tutor this year so I don’t have a classroom to spruce up (which is good and not so great) so I’ll have to live vicariously through you ladies. I’m sure it will look fantastic!

  4. How exciting! Good luck with your improvements Maria. We are having a new school build this year, so next summer I will be in this same position. I’d love to hear how you deal with the move in the weeks and months to come 🙂

    1. I created a window in my classroom with no windows. I bought a huge picture from Ikea–the one with light shining through the trees–and framed it on the wall like a window. It made it a little bit better 🙂

    2. Tasha, that sounds like a great idea! My windows are quite small so I am working on a project to make them seem bigger. I feel so bad for you girls with no natural lighting or windows at all.

  5. Oh, I totally agree with the windows! I have windows in my room! I’m one of 5 rooms that have windows, including the library, and wouldn’t change it for the world! The rest of the classroom are all dungeons. Haha! I wonder if you can paint the wall and change up that blue?

    1. The blue has already been changed-up! My walls were in bad shape when I moved in so I was one of the few lucky ones that got a fresh coat of paint in my classroom!

  6. So sorry you had to pack up that beautiful classroom. My school also relocated to a new building this year and I also had the huge task of packing up all my things. I am sure that your new room will be just as beautiful as your previous room. It looks like your new room is a great space! Best of luck!

  7. Wow! You’re attacking the cabinetry? That’s a lot of work! Maybe it’s different with private schools but we get moved around so much it would be a shame to put in all that work and then have to move out a year later and then someone else gets to reap the benefits of your time and money. Plus I’m not allowed to paint or dismantle the furniture. I can’t wait to see how it turns out!
    ❤ Karen
    Flamingo Fabulous in Second Grade

    1. I had to ask permission before I attacked the cabinetry and It is a neutral color. It was really hard to resist the urge to paint it yellow! My principal LOVES the new look of my cabinet. I suspect that it will be a school-wide project to paint the cabinets eventually. I just saved the maintenance team some time by doing it myself (and I saved my eyes from having to look at it).

      Any time I make classroom improvements, I always ask permission first and try to keep in mind what is in the best interest of the school. Fortunately, my principal sees my efforts as an asset to the building and usually offers her blessing on my grandiose ideas.

  8. Your other room was SO inspiring to me, but I can’t wait to see what you will do with your new room!! Love your blog! Please visit mine!

    1. My poor windowless friend! You will definitely want to see photos of my room after it is complete. It already looks much more spacious and open. Hopefully you will be able to get a few new ideas from my future posts!

  9. I love your space Maria! I know it’s going to look amazing when you are finished and even though it’s not quite as bright, at least you still have that awesome row of windows in the there! Can’t wait to see the after photos!

    Creating & Teaching

    1. Hi Charity! The nice thing about teaching in a school that is 140+ years old (true story!) is that we have a LOT of old crummy furniture and the administration doesn’t mind if it gets a facelift!

  10. I actually printed pictures of your old classroom and took them to my room for ideas and inspiration. I’m going bright colors, polka dots, and owls 🙂
    Good luck with the new room. Looks like a decorating challenge. If you’re like me…you love a challenge!!
    Can’t wait to see the final results!

    1. I love me some bright colors, polka dots, and owls and I am so flattered to hear that my previous classroom was your inspiration! Best of luck to you as you set up your new look!

  11. I’m jealous of your space and your creative style!! I have a small triangular classroom with LOTS of windows but no storage or even a whiteboard!! Maybe I should fly you up here to help me decorate for the upcoming school year!! lol

    1. Oh my goodness, a triangular room… that sounds like a decorating CHALLENGE! You are so lucky to have lots of windows (despite your storage and whiteboard limitations). Good luck this school year!

  12. Hi Maria! I just found you via the new Teachers on Pinterest boards! I am head over heels in love with your style and you now have a new follower! 🙂 I was drooling over pictures off your old classroom and can’t wait to see what you do in your new classroom! {Squeal!} I loved those yellow drawers in your old classroom next to the globe. Would you mind sharing where you got them? Also, did you spray paint them? If so, do you know what kind of spray paint (brand and color) you used? Thanks so much!
    Cheers to a great new school year,

    1. Hi Briana!

      Those yellow drawers were WONDERFUL and I loved them too! They were one of the old treasures I dragged out of my school’s storage room. They were olive green when I first got them (if that is any indicator about how old they were). I did spray paint those and a few other file cabinets in my classroom. I used Rust-Oleum spray paint in Sun Yellow (gloss). They sell it at Home Depot (but not Lowe’s).

  13. Thanks for responding Maria and giving me info about the paint. I was just at Lowe’s, so now I know I need to head to HD. Ha! 🙂 Thanks again!

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Hi, I'm Maria.

I’m a former kindergarten teacher turned work-from-home mom. I still love sharing ideas and resources to make teaching easier, so you can focus on what really matters in the classroom. When I’m not working on the blog, you’ll find me chasing kids around the house with a cold cup of coffee in my hand (some things never change even once you’re out of the classroom!)


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