How to Make a Bulletin Board (Step-by-Step)
- Go on Google, search keywords like “school bulletin boards” or “inspirational boards”
- Find an idea you like and that you can actually do <insert realistic goals here>
- Look at multiple sources of the same idea, make it your own (your board needs to be the OG)
- Gather materials needed for the board (scissors, Sharpies, hot glue gun, stapler, laptop, etc.)
- Begin by doing the “simple” stuff first
- Realize the “simple” stuff is not that simple
- Take a deep breathin and out of frustration
- Look at Pinterest again for simpler ideasRemember who you are doing this for and why
- Stick to your original idea and keep on going!
- Get students and other teachers to help
- Watch as slowly and painstakingly over time you get closer to being done
- Gather all the small pieces together and go to your board
- Lay down the background and border with the help of your trusty box cutter (be careful!)
*Make sure your background is something that can be reused for the next bulletin board*
- Reinforce all pieces of your board with a stapler
- Refill stapler with more staples
- Put finishing touches (moving things around, make sure things are straight, etc.)
- Be amazed at what you can do with an imagination and lots of paper
- Watch as student interact with the new board
- Make repairs as needed because “gentle” is not always in every student’s vocabulary
*Repeat process as many times as needed throughout the course of the school year*
While bulletin board making is not rocket science, it is a task that I was commissioned to do at the beginning of my service year at De La Salle Academy in Concord, California. When given the task, I was anything but overjoyed since it would require me to be creative and handy. I kept asking myself, “Is this what I got my two college degrees for? And no one said anything about making bulletin boards in the application.” However, I agreed to take it on due to not wanting to take on the role of being the birthday fairy. I figured it would be a task that I would have to do every month and that would be the extent of it. For the first couple of boards that is the attitude I went with, making a bulletin board is boring and nothing special. However, my attitude began to change when the month of Halloween came around. I have always enjoyed Halloween for the movies, the scare, the costumes and, of course, THE CANDY! I was looking for ideas online when I came across a board someone had done where they had people guessing the shadows of familiar Halloween characters. I figured it was simple enough and began my task of creating the board. When it was done, I patted myself on the back and went on my merry way. However, I did not expect the reactions that where given by the 62 boys at De La Salle Academy the following day. Students gave comments such as “Wow! That is cool!” “Who do you think that is (pointing at a particular shadow)?” and “Why is Ms. Mach trying to scare us? I thought this was a Catholic school?” The bulletin board became a hot topic amongst the boys and led to me being asked to sit with certain groups at lunch where I was grilled about favorite horror movies, tv shows, candy, etc. Without intentionally doing it, I found a way to connect with the students at my school. From the Halloween board, I kept my enthusiasm going and tried to always come up with an interesting board that would pique the interest of the students. While it is not the most important job at the school, it allows for me to connect with students and build a relationship with them beyond the classroom.
Over the course of the year, I have learned that creating a bulletin board is much like building up a student. There are various steps a teacher needs to take to be able to help a student grow as an individual. During my service year, I have worked one-on-one with a fifth-grade student who struggles in reading comprehension and literacy causing him to fall behind greatly compared to his fellow classmates. Throughout the course of the year, I have watched him grow as he has become more confident in himself and his ability to understand those around him. Much like a bulletin board, research needed to be done first about how to best help him. Then, he and I began the task of doing the “simple” stuff. He learned sight words, phonics, word parts, etc. There were times where he would be frustrated or bored, but after some words of encouragement he would keep going with what needed to be done. Other teachers began accommodating to his needs so that he could succeed in their classroom as well. Slowly, things started coming together. He got nominated for awards like Young Spartan of the Week and Young Sportsman of the Week. While he continues to struggle and constantly needs to be refilled with enthusiasm, I can begin to see the type of young man he will become. Sometimes as teachers, we have to be able to see into the future so we can envision how our students are going to grow, how our small piece will fit into the whole image, and how we can do our best to make sure that image becomes whole much like a bulletin board.
Julia Mach is a first-year volunteer at De La Salle Academy in Concord, California. She is a 2018 graduate of Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois.