Life in classrooms, workspaces


Mr. Blevins

Mr. Blevins’ virtual learning workspace.

Silvia Martinez, Video Editor

     From gnomes to hand sculptures, teachers have different approaches when it comes to decorating their classrooms and workspaces, virtual or in person.

     History teacher Mrs. Nicole Reimers hasn’t gotten the chance to decorate her classroom at North Harford, but she has made artwork to hang up on her classroom walls in the past. She also enjoys displaying artwork students make for her.

     Reimers describes her virtual learning space as “bright with some of my favorite things.” She sits near a brick fireplace painted white, and she’s added strips of white wood to make her area look like “board and batten.” Reimers loves maps, therefore a world map she painted blue and gray a few years ago hangs above the mantle. 

      To complete her workspace, Reimers stained her old kitchen table in a “warm medium wood tone” to use as her desk. She prefers to keep the top of her desk clear and neat, and usually keeps her laptop, class binder, current textbook, and a container of pens and pencils handy.

     English teacher Mrs. Meagan Neyens says she has “quite an eclectic collection of stuff” around her classroom, which includes the various holiday gnomes she has. “I have Halloween gnomes, Christmas gnomes, and a spring gnome that sit on my filing cabinet during the corresponding season,” says Neyens. The English teacher also has a variety of posters around her room, some gifted to her by her students.

     “My favorite item to hang in my classroom is a poster a student painted for me based on Shakespeare’s ‘The Seven Ages of Man’,” explains Neyens. “ It depicts a seedling and its progression to a dandelion and ultimately it blows away in the breeze. The art is titled ‘The Seven Ages of a Mandalion’ and it makes me chuckle every time,” she says. 

    Neyen’s other favorites include a banner of the Hogwart’s houses a former student made for her as well, along with her Shakespeare insults poster.

     “I have the very first self-portrait I drew in art class as a freshman at North Harford High School on my wall,” says art teacher Mr. Jason Blevins. He has it in his classroom next to the latest self-portrait he painted in 2008 to show much progress he’s made as an artist. “That first drawing was not very impressive, and I spilled some kind of pink drink or paint on it so it looks like I have pink eye,” he explains.

     Blevins also has two silicon hand sculptures that he likes to put in strange places so it looks like they’re reaching out from behind things in his art room. On Blevins’ desk sits a paperweight he made with his wife while on their honeymoon, along with a highlighter, his trusty Ticonderoga pencil, and a stack of post-it-notes. “Without these items, I am lost,” explains Blevins. 

     When it comes to his workspace at home, Blevins states that “To some, it may look like chaos. But it works for me.”