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Can’t letter a sign or cut in a straight line? Don’t stress.

 

Can’t letter a sign or cut in a straight line? Don’t stress.

Some teachers just seem born to fill their classroom walls with adorable posters and other hand-made décor. And then there are those who are so craft-challenged that they would rather monitor a detention room than face the laminating machine again. If you are in category two, relax. Here are five easy solutions.

1. Get help from your team.

Do you work with someone who is education’s answer to Martha Stewart? Once the jealousy subsides, offer to organize books, do internet research, or handle other tasks while your crafty coworker makes stuff for both of your classrooms.

2. Turn to the pros.

Pinterest, Teachers Pay Teachers, and dozens of other websites cater to teachers who are too busy or lack the artistic skill to create cute stuff for their rooms. The sites can’t do the laminating for you, but they can do almost anything else.

3. Go high tech.

Don’t spend time lettering and laminating posters for your lessons when a funny internet image or slogan projected on the screen can serve the same purpose. Search Google for your subject, select great images, and create a slideshow. Remember to follow copyright laws and use the images only for the classroom.

Jaime Casap, global education evangelist for Google.com, says he is not sure why teachers remain stuck in the world of paper when the web can be an easy alternative to lettering, pasting, printing, and laminating. “I think people are used to doing things the way they do things,” he explains. “There are plenty of ways to replace printing things.”

4. Get kids to help.

Is your container for spare pencils ugly? Need a cute sign for the lost and found table? Ask that student who is always sketching or folding paper airplanes to help by creating paper flowers or animals for the container or an eye-catching sign. You likely will discover so many artistic students that you will never have to make anything for your classroom walls again.

5. Don’t lose sleep.

If you need to make something for your classroom at the last minute and don’t have help, just go for it. What’s the worst that can happen if the results are ugly? Kids will go home with a hilarious story — and you probably will have plenty of volunteer help next time around.

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