Messy? No, Just Artistically Challenged!

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Penny S-K ponders being messy despite trying otherwise in this evening’s blog article.

I’m not a neat person.

I try my best, I really do. I love stationery: I have files and folders and notepads and all manner of organisational tools at my fingertips. But ultimately, I will never be tidy. It’s something I’ve come to accept after four decades of minor chaos.

Sadly, my messiness is not confined to my surroundings: it also affects my appearance. I try to look neat and well-turned out, but somehow my shirt always comes untucked, my shoelaces come undone, my hair decides to do an impression of a bird’s nest. When I was a teacher, I used to look at my elegant, sophisticated colleagues with their beautiful nails and suits and hair, and think how? How do they achieve this?

But it was when I was required to decorate a classroom that my messiness reached its zenith. Before Open Days or Observations, I would get knots in my stomach thinking about the impression my classroom would give. I invested unbelievable amounts of time and money (my own, of course) in buying special letters, papers, 3D objects… you name it, I tried it.

But no matter how inventive my ideas were in my head, when I tried to recreate them on a display board they just looked… messy. Or to put it diplomatically, artistically challenged. Letters were out of proportion, pictures were wonky – everything looked home-made. In a bad way.

“Try making it look deliberately off balance,” advised a colleague after a particularly traumatic incident with a World War I poetry display. I tried, but it was no good. I have no sense of spatial awareness, no artistry. It just looked like a minor whirlwind had targeted my classroom.

Now, of course, things would be different. Because if I were a teacher now, I would definitely have a Twinkl subscription, and I would definitely be downloading their display resources. When I first saw their display packs for Key Stage 3 and GCSE English Language and Literature, I nearly wept. All those hours, trying to make colourful displays with nothing but sparkly letters and hope. Twinkl’s resources are so simple, even I could put them together with just a pair of scissors and a staple gun. And there are so many of them. Blood Brothers, Macbeth, An Inspector Calls, Non-Fiction Text Types. Even the less-commonly taught texts, like DNA and The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-Time. They’re all there, ready to download.

If I’d had these resources back in my teaching days, I could have whipped up a display in 20 minutes and been home in time to watch Neighbours. And, even better, I’d have been leaving behind a beautiful classroom.

But hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Subscribe to Twinkl from as little as £5 per month, giving you access to a range of resources. That’s £5 for as many resources as you can download with no limit! A bargain and a time-saver all in one! If you want to see what we offer first, sign up for a free Twinkl account here and take a look around at our free resources.

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