It’s that time of year again! As September approaches, our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE! is buzzing with teacher-to-teacher ideas, tips, and advice for setting up the perfect classroom for this year’s kiddos. Teacher Christine wrote in a question that generated much discussion: “I will be moving into a classroom with no windows. I work with small groups and another teacher and I will be splitting a classroom. I am trying to think of a way to make us feel like we have windows, even though we don’t. Anyone have any decoration ideas?!”
Here’s what our community of teachers suggested:
“Try mirrors on the walls.” —Phil F.
“Definitely mirrors!” —Tracey G.
“What about mirrors painted to look like a window?” —Bonnie S.
“I always put up a mirror and add a lot of small lamps on different tables.” —Nicole G.
“Mirrors make rooms feel larger!” —Brianne M.
Hang elements of a window on the wall.
“Hang curtains with a nature scene behind them.” —Gayle M.
You could also go for the trompe l’oeil effect. “Find old windows and Mod Podge landscapes or landmarks onto the panes. I knew a teacher who did it with a picture of the school, and it was really cute.” —Ashley H.
Or, combo the two: “You could find an old window and add curtains with scenery.” —Lorraine A.
“I got a few bulletin boards that were windows with seasonal flower boxes as part of them.” —Megan N.
Work your green thumb.
“I was in a similar situation and found some resilient plants that can live on artificial light. They make the room feel fresh and bright!” —Catherine C.
Light it up.
“String lights are nice if they are not against fire code.” —Raquel A.
“Bring your own lighting: lamps, Christmas lights, different types of bulbs and colors. Either find your favorite combination and go with it or change as you need to. You’ll find you can really change the environment with it.” —Andrea L.
“If you want to go with any kind of lighting, go with LED string lights or even look into LED strip lights that have a sticky back. Make it fun! Think of this as an opportunity to tune out distractions.” —Darla E.
Get creative with your wall art.
“Hang photos on the wall of outdoor scenes.” —Eileen D.
“Making enlargements, even poster size, isn’t as expensive as it used to be, so take a park or forest photo and have it enlarged to poster size and attach it to the wall. I’ve also seen posters or banners that stick to the wall and are easily removed.” —Trisha M.
“Get a large sheet of canvas or heavy material and have the students design and paint a mural for one wall. This makes it their own.” —Dara D.
And, surprisingly, it may be a blessing in disguise.
“I have a classroom with no windows, too! It’s actually good because there are fewer distractions.” —Jacqueline R.
“I was in a room with no windows last year and I loved it!! There were no distractions at all and I thought it was very cozy. Also, when we did our internal lock downs, the kids felt really safe.” —Sussy B.
Who knew?! You may end up loving your windowless classroom!