She’s the enthusiastic primary school teacher who never goes a year without tirelessly decorating her classrooms.
Hannah Girling spends her holiday transforming her immaculate classroom into a colourful space by filling it with rainbow posters, personalised desk labels, charts and bright decor.
The 24-year-old, who goes under Miss Girling’s Classroom on Instagram, teaches Year 5 students at Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School in Western Australia.
Here, the young teacher, from Perth, offers a glimpse into her vibrant learning space.
School teacher Hannah Girling (pictured) transforms her classrooms into colourful spaces
The 24-year-old spends her holiday decorating her classrooms ahead of the school year
The teacher would spend hours carefully crafting inspirational walls for her students
‘My students seem to love it in our classroom, it’s definitely our “happy place”,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
‘I have always loved bright, colourful things, so it made sense to me to make my classroom like that as well.
‘In order for students to learn and have a love for school, classrooms should be positive, happy, welcoming and engaging environments.
‘Having a great classroom to work in is only one part of engaging the students, but I do believe it is an important part.
‘The bright colours naturally make it a happier place! It’s important to take student needs into consideration as well when decorating your classroom.
‘You may have a student with special needs – such as sensory issues – that needs accommodations made for them.’
The teacher fills her classroom with rainbow walls, colourful posters and ‘learning goals’
Every year, she pins the students’ colourful art on the ‘wow wall’ so parents can see their work
The optimistic teacher has made colour-coded draws with each child’s name labelled in front
Over the summer break, Miss Girling spent just under two weeks transforming her classroom into stimulating spaces in preparation for her new students (pictured the 2018 classroom)
The dedicated teacher has been documenting her preparation to nearly 35,000 of her Instagram followers ahead of the 2018 school year.
‘My favourite part of my 2018 classroom is my whiteboard area. I use my whiteboard every single day, so this year I was lucky enough to get a second one,’ she said.
‘I’ve added neon lights to brighten it up. On the floor of my whiteboard area is a gorgeous black and white rug, and some bright fluffy mats. This area will be great for small group work.’
She explained her favourite feature in her new classroom was the ‘wow wall’ – a space where she displays her students’ work.
‘I love my wow work wall. This rainbow area is used for displaying my students’ work throughout the year,’ Miss Girling said.
‘We display a variety of things on here, but we love to put our art up for everyone to see. It’s a great way for the students to display the work they are proud of, build classroom culture and brighten up the room with their fantastic work.’
The dedicated teacher has been documenting her preparation to nearly 35,000 of her Instagram followers ahead of the 2018 school year
The books are perfectly organised into colour-coded plastic tubs so they are easily accessed
Every year, she pins the students’ colourful art on the ‘wow wall’ so parents can see their work
She has a ‘wow wall’ where she displays students’ work for everyone to see, including parents
Over the summer break, Miss Girling spent just under two weeks transforming her classroom into stimulating spaces in preparation for her new students.
‘This was a record for me,’ she explained.
‘I usually spend a large chunk of my holidays doing setup and prep, but it was much easier this year as I stayed in the same classroom with the same year group.
‘Between 2016 to 2017, I moved from Year 3 to Year 5 so I had to set up a new classroom from scratch. It had furniture and other classroom items, but it was mainly a blank slate that needed a lot of love.
‘It took most of my holidays to organise that room. This year, I just had lots of cleaning and giving old areas a new life.’
The 2018 working space: The teacher has perfectly organised her cupboards and desk draws
Miss Girling, who is a big supporter of the Sydney Swans, decorated her classroom with red and white balloons after her team beat Fremantle Dockers in August last year
She said her favourite feature was the ‘wow wall’ where she displays the students work
Over the summer break, Miss Girling prepared little birthday gifts for each of her students
Staying true to her eye-popping rainbow style, Miss Girling stuck all of her students’ names on the door to welcome them into their new classroom.
She hung her own vibrant name above her working desk, as she covered the white walls with inspirational posters after spending hours carefully crafting them.
The optimistic teacher has also made colour-coded draws with each child’s name labelled in front.
Brightening her space with attention to detail, Miss Girling said every item in her classroom has a purpose.
‘I try to make sure that each item in my classroom has a purpose and will be useful for the students,’ she said.
‘It is very easy to accumulate of lot of things that you’ll only use once or don’t really need. When buying items, I love to select the most colourful option.
‘A great example of this is my chair I use at my desk. I could’ve gone with a plain black one, but I absolutely loved the rainbow one, so I had to get it.
‘It has really helped brighten up my classroom.’
The ‘currently reading’ display will encourage her students to write down the book they’re currently reading – this way she’s across what they are reading and can engage in discussions
Miss Girling said she believed her colourful classrooms makes a difference with teaching
Haiku wall: Haikus are traditionally about nature or the seasons so each of her students chose a particular season to write their poem about
She spends hours crafting inspirational posters for her students, including learning goals
Miss Girling said she found inspiration to set up her classrooms by getting an idea of what her students may like to see in their learning space.
‘When I am deciding about what to display in my classroom, I think about what the students may like or what they might need,’ she said.
‘I believe it is important to think of them when organising and setting up a room, as they will be the ones coming in each and every day.
‘The Instagram teaching community is a fantastic place to get ideas and inspiration from. There’s a huge amount of incredibly passionate and creative teachers on there.’
Miss Girling believed her colourful classrooms makes a difference with teaching.
‘I do believe being organised definitely helps my teaching and everyday activities with my students,’ she said.
‘When I have planned my day and week well, I am able to be much more flexible when things arise and shuffles need to happen.
‘I am also much calmer and focused when I am organised, and this is passed onto my students.’
Miss Girling said she now has two whiteboards this year – one of her many favourite features
Miss Girling has been documenting her amazing classrooms on Instagram for three years
In her first year of teacher, Miss Girling said she spent around $6,000 setting up her classroom
Miss Girling who started teaching full-time in April 2015 said the best part about her ‘incredibly tiring and demanding’ job was the young students
In her first year of teaching, Miss Girling said she spent $6,000 on decorating her classroom – but over the years, she has managed to reuse her materials.
‘I spent approximately $6,000 to set up my first ever classroom and collect resources. Thankfully it has become less each year, but I still spend a few thousand,’ she said.
‘Kmart is a teacher’s heaven. I am not able to go into Kmart without walking out with things I didn’t plan on purchasing.
‘I get many of my resources from a variety of places. Lots of discount stores are great for small, bright, colourful pieces.’
Miss Girling who started teaching full-time in April 2015 said the best part about her ‘incredibly tiring and demanding’ job was the young students.
‘Knowing that I am making a positive difference in these children’s lives, no matter how small or big, is such a lovely thing to know, especially when it is tough,’ she said.
‘I loving building positive relationships with my students and watching them grow over the year. Seeing their faces light up when something clicks or they come up with an idea is one of the best things I’ve ever experienced.
She crafts colourful posters for her students for every special occasion, including Easter
Brightening her space with attention to detail, Miss Girling said every item has a purpose
Miss Girling has been documenting her amazing classrooms on Instagram for more than three years, and she uses the platform to share her tips to fellow teachers
‘I enjoy helping them build their self-confidence and encouraging them to tackle things head on with no fear.
‘The amazing students make all of the long hours and endless jobs so rewarding and worth the effort. I try to build a positive classroom culture.
‘In my class we are a “family”, which means we support and look out for each other. Our school places a large focus on the word “respect”.
‘Our students are encouraged to think of this whenever they carry out any actions. I love encouraging students to be the best versions of themselves.’
Miss Girling has been documenting her amazing classrooms on Instagram for more than three years, and she uses the platform to share her tips to fellow teachers.
For new teachers who want to organise their classrooms, Miss Girling advised: ‘Make sure you are purchasing it because you actually need it, and not just want it.
‘There have been so many times that I’ve just had to have something, and then found it to not be particularly helpful or useful in the classroom.
”Buy second-hand where you can to save money. Re-use and recycle your old items instead of throwing them out, lots of the time they can be made to look new again.’