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My Classroom Theme & Why it Hasn’t Changed in 10 Years

Bees!  It’s my classroom theme and has been pretty much since the beginning of my teaching career. It’s been almost 15(!!) years of having my theme!  If you’re the type of person who changes themes every year, way to go!  More power to you!  Changing themes each year is not my thing and I’ll share with you why.  If you’re a newer teacher, this blog post may just be for you.  Don’t feel overwhelmed with trying to keep up with that Pinterest classroom.  Do your thing and don’t make it too hard.

I’m a huge Instagrammer and I LOVE following all of the fabulous teacher-author, bloggers out there.  I seriously love seeing everyone’s classrooms, especially at the beginning of the year.  I love seeing what new trends and ideas are out there to make my classroom a better place.  I even love seeing all the themes-new and old-that everyone has.  I am just not the person to be changing themes every year.  Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing everyone else’s, but changing my own is just not my thing.

My Theme: Bees

Like I said earlier, my classroom theme is Bees.  I choose this theme forever ago and have stuck with it.  My last name is Bessick, so B for Bessick and I’m a HUGE Iowa Hawkeyes fan and their colors are black and gold (just like a bee! ????).  So the bee theme just fit and I have loved it ever since.
As I make things and set them up for my room, I always use this Bee theme.
For most things, I use class numbers with bee stickers or cutouts so that I don’t have to change them every year (TIME SAVER!)
I have had this chart FOREVER!  I need to make a new one, but it still fits with my theme so I haven’t felt the need yet.  Although, it’s pretty well used.
I love collecting Bee things for my classroom.  My curtains are Bees and I have Bee accessories.
I also stick with Bee colors-notice the pillows and floor mats.
Pretty much everything I do for my classroom is in the black and gold Bee theme and I love it and haven’t gotten sick of it yet.

Why I Haven’t Changed My Theme

We are the Bessick’s Busy Bees and have been since the very beginning.  To be a Bessick’s Busy Bees is a special thing, it’s our thing.  Once you’re in my classroom, you’re always a Bessick’s Busy Bee!

Reason #1:

One reason I haven’t changed my theme is that I don’t have the time, money, or energy to do so.  Like I said earlier, more power to you if you change your theme every year and I LOVE seeing them, but personally, I just can’t do it.  Now that I have my own kids, I have even less time to be in my classroom setting it up before school starts.  With my Bee theme, everything stays the same.  I don’t have to make a new job chart or put new labels on anything.  It’s already done and themed to match my classroom.

Reason #2:

Also, in the last 7 years of teaching, we have had a new curriculum in social studies, writing, reading, and math.  That means many trainings and PDs, even before school starts.  I try to avoid the back-to-school stress and frenzy so to me that means keeping things the same.  This year I have all new furniture for flexible learning spaces so I will be focusing my time and energy on setting that up, not a new theme.

Reason #3:

Another reason is that my students and most of the school know me as the Bee teacher.  When we have movin’ on up day, when the kinders come to the first grade classrooms, I point out all of my bees.  Everyone knows that I love Bees (and the Hawkeyes) so it makes me stand out, makes me known.  Not that that’s really important, but it’s fun and the kids love it.  I cannot tell you how many Bee things I have gotten (pants, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, stuffed bees) just because someone saw it and thought of me.  I collect bee things and keep them all in my classroom.

Everyone loves BEES!

Everyone loves bees!  Well, they do after they are in my classroom for a year. ????  My theme fits boys, girls, and everyone in my class.  The colors are neutral and my biggest rule is to BEE KIND!  We work very hard all year making sure we are kind to everyone in our classroom and the BEE just fits right in.
Now, has this made me not a better teacher because I haven’t changed my theme?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  And don’t feel like you’re a better or worse teacher for doing it or not.  Your classroom theme does not determine how good of a teacher you are.  It’s the relationships you build with your students, how you make them feel in your classroom, and the learning and experiences you have provided for them.  That’s the biggest reason why I don’t change my theme: it doesn’t matter to the kids, it doesn’t determine the teacher I am.
So, are you a teacher feeling stressed about a new theme or changing it every year?  Don’t feel the pressure to be that Pinterest-worthy classroom teacher.  Do your thing and do whatever works for you!
One of my best teacher friends changes themes every year for 5 years and then repeats them once that class is out of the school.  Now if you ask me if I were to change themes, that just may be the way to go.
If you are one of those theme-changing teachers though, keep those pictures coming because I love seeing them on social media, dreaming about the day, when I’ll change my theme.  (Probably never, but I can dream right?!)

Building Relationships & Classroom Expectations

One thing that I think is WAY more important than redoing your theme each year is creating a classroom community, building relationships with your students, and teaching classroom expectations.  

Check out these blog posts if you want to learn more:

If you liked this or found it helpful, please pin and share on social media! ????

Now, don’t mind me, while I set up my classroom and spend time with my family the last few weeks of summer! You don’t find me worrying about my classroom theme.

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