that one time when I obnoxiously wanted to be the most decorated teacher…

READER. Oh my god, I’ve done it again.

With just eight days left in the month, I’ve given myself barely any time to get all those goals in for the month that I wanted… It’s safe to say that some of them won’t be happening. But instead of hashing over what I didn’t do [yet, and what I’ll try to squeeze in], we’ll save that for another day.

No, no. Tonight, I’d like to share with you one of the many things I’ve been meaning to write about: the time I was the most Christmas-y of them all at school.

Last year, I didn’t do anything in my classroom, but instead was commissioned by our receptionist at the time to do something elaborate in the lobby area. I loved this.

It took me about a week with a little help and turned out decent. Sure, I would have changed a few things, but all in all, it was a good Christmas-themed, life-sized diorama in my eyes. At least, the kids loved it.


the Xmas setup in 2013...

the Xmas setup in

Now, I’ve had plans for a long time to decorate my classroom and make it more a place where I want to be and where my students might enjoy learning. At some point early last year, I fashioned a tree out of some crazy-fancy tissue paper and then stapled red, orange, and yellow leaves to it that I had my students write their names on. I loved the tree, I hated the leaves. They looked weird, for one thing, but also, the students’ artwork wasn’t my cup of tea. Many of them tried to make their names “prettier,” and the aesthetic just didn’t work for me.


tree with leaves... I don't like...

tree with leaves… I don’t like…

Eventually, once the term changed and I had different students in class, I took the leaves off and left the tree green and bare, but cut out [seemingly] a zillion mitten shapes to put up with their names (which I planned to write myself) and hang on the tree. I never got around to it… I have a ton of mittens and they’re sitting in a little box.


the bare tree, which I liked...

the bare tree, which I liked…

And then, nearly a year later, Christmas came. And if you’ll recall, I was determined to be the best decorated classroom out of the four. (We’re a small academy. Also, it’s important to note that there was no contest – I made it up in my own head and was competing against myself. Which, by the way – I am my toughest competitor…)

I had all kinds of plans. Macaroni snowflakes painted white and decked in glitter… Paper-strip giant ornaments in colored paper… A new, bigger, decorated Christmas tree to temporarily replace the original… A classroom door that looked like either Santa Clause, a penguin, or some other whimsical, Christmas-y thing… Giant old-fashioned Christmas bulbs cut from colored paper, which I later decided I wanted to line the edges in glitter… And probably more that I can’t recall at this point.


my Saturday classroom project...

my Saturday classroom project… Remember this?!

Suffice it to say, I bit off more than I could chew with the planning. And frankly, I didn’t feel like putting in nearly as much effort as was required to be obscenely spectacular, so I drew the line quite I lot lower than I’m happy to admit. That glitterizing of the Christmas bulbs (pictured above, mid-cutting) never happened. Indeed, I actually only used a few of each color to slap onto my bare and oddly short, fat Christmas tree on the bulletin board…

*Pitying Side Note: I just realized that I don’t have any pictures saved from the actual Christmas decor! Literal sad face. But, I promise to get a few (because let’s face it, it’s all still up, just like it was) tomorrow morning when I go in for a field trip… More on THAT later. Check back to the blog tomorrow and you’ll see the tree (and the other things) in all its glory.

Also, I never hung anything new from the ceiling. Early last year, I hung some pyramids that my students made for a class project and they’ve been up there ever since – for literally a year. I have yet to change them out with the ones my new students just made a few weeks ago…

And the door? The door was my masterpiece: I made the most adorable penguin. I was inspired by a pin I saw on Pinterest and while mine’s not exactly like the pinned one, it’s pretty damn close. I chose the penguin because I figured, well, that I would take a really long time to get everything down and back to “normal” decor. (I was right. The tree is still a Christmas tree.) Also, I have decided to keep the door decorated at all times. A penguin would allow me to keep the design up through the rest of winter and to reevaluate come spring. I’m pretty freaking proud of that penguin.

I also finally finished the bulletin board with the chevron pattern I had been wanting to put up for months, which took FOREVER. That’s probably the biggest reason why I lost my momentum. Those chevrons were a pain in the ass. There were a few other things that irritated me, but I just gave up and called it good after a few days. Once the Christmas tree comes down and the “normal” one goes back up, I’ll attend to the gaps in the yellow paper and find something new to hang from the ceiling.

So, there you have it. No one else decorated anything for Christmas, so I definitely still won the non-existent contest. But, I’ve left the bar at mid-level so that I can blow everyone (including myself) away this year for Christmas 2015. It’s my last year in Korea and you can bet your ass that my classroom is going to be the most spectacular, bedazzled, glitterized, obnoxiously Christmas-y of them all.

The end.


  1. Pingback: the missing Christmas-y classroom pictures… | a little bit brave

  2. Dan Antion says:

    Snap some pics! I’d love to see them. I like the idea of the pyramids hanging from the ceiling. Actually, I think that kids love it when adults do stuff like that no matter what it it.

    • Thanks, Dan! I think they enjoy it, too, when the teacher displays something they worked on.

      I had some photos taken that I sent to a friend, but didn’t save them! I’ll definitely get some posted tomorrow! :)

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