I’ve always had a bulletin board display in my classroom and when I moved to the Middle School, the bulletin board came to my office. Each August, I remove the items from the previous school year and then reconstruct the board for the coming school year.
Many items change, though there are a few themes that are consistent. I always have a few pictures from my summer adventures. This year, that’s JT and T in Kansas City at Kaufman Stadium. I’ve got JT, his grandmother, and his cousin C in Kings Canyon among the Sequoia trees. An updated picture of my tall nephews and JT are there, as they are every year. There is always a little baseball; this year that’s the Kaufman Stadium photo as well as the Kansas City Monarchs jersey and the postcard of Buck O’Neil, both obtained at the Negro League Baseball Hall of Fame in Kansas City. I added in a picture of JT in the St. Louis Cardinals bull pen. I’ve got a St. Louis Cardinals logo as well.
There are stickers and things that amuse me; reminders of the spirit I hope to bring to my work. There are photos I made and like; this year’s pumpkins will be swapped out for other seasonal photos as the year progresses.
I also pick a few items of historical significance. There is something presidential; this year’s honors went to George Washington on an antique postcard and a card with pictures and quotes from Washington, Lincoln, and FDR. There are a number of campaign buttons from my collection; Hillary Clinton buttons are on their way. I don’t have a T-rump button and I won’t be buying one. I also include an item that reminds me of the focus of one of my American history class; this year that’s Harriet Scott, the wife of Dred Scott, the man whose 1857 court case shook the nation into understanding just what it would take to end slavery. Buck O’Neil, alive a generation later, and playing baseball in a segregationist nation, is yet another reminder of what I will teach this year.
There are always flowers —— this year it’s a lovely zinnia seed pack (these were planted in my backyard garden) as well as the antique postcard of a flower market in San Francisco.
The bulletin board is meant to be brain candy, fodder for my memories and imagination. It’s made up of items and mementos that make me smile and make me think. It’s hopeful and happy and its creation is one of my favorite traditions for the start of the school year.