Classroom Fixer Upper

Hagglund redesigns room to create better reflection of self


Morgan Vehige

FACS teacher Erin Hagglund works at her desk during a plan period. At the beginning of the school year, Hagglund decided that her classroom decor could use a refresh. While her vision for the room is not complete, Hagglund is happy with the progress made and enjoys allowing her students to help her.

Morgan Vehige

A goal of Hagglund’s was to make her space more friendly and appealing to students. During her redecoration, Hagglund drew inspiration from HGTV and The Home Edit. (photo courtesy of Erin Hagglund)

For FACS teacher Erin Hagglund, her classroom has become a safe space for both herself and for her students.

At the beginning of the school year, Hagglund decided to change up her classroom in order to better reflect who she is now. After 13 years of teaching in the same classroom, online learning made Hagglund realize it was time for that change.

“Every once in a while you need something new. It just helps you feel good. I think everybody at the start of the school year was needing that. And for me, that was to change up my surroundings,” Hagglund said. “When I first decorated my classroom, it was very much like what I was into at the time. It had lots of bright colors and was cheerful and it looked really nice. But as I was sitting in my classroom, teaching to an empty classroom on Zoom, I was like, ‘Oh, I’m not feeling this anymore’. 13 years is a long time, and I wanted it to feel comfortable, welcoming and more like a home space for students.”

After gathering inspiration from HGTV and The Home Edit and taking down brightly colored items, Hagglund went in a new direction when redesigning her room.

“What I wanted to do with my classroom is to tone things down and make it more of a neutral space that didn’t feel necessarily super feminine or masculine. I felt like it probably did not have as much of an appeal to everyone, and it really was something fresh and new for students,” Hagglund said.

Hagglund has been teaching in room 111 since she began teaching at Lafayette 13 years ago. While Hagglund felt a change of classroom would benefit students, she also wanted her classroom to be a true reflection of herself. (photo courtesy of Erin Hagglund)

Making that appeal to students is important to Hagglund. She finds it important to make students as comfortable as possible in the classroom. While she understands that the way her classroom looks is not what some students notice most, she believes that it’s still important to present a welcoming environment.

“A lot of students will comment and say, ‘I really like your classroom, it feels really good here. I can tell that you care a lot about your space and your students because of the way that you’ve arranged things’. I think it probably speaks to some students, and maybe some don’t even think twice about it. But I think that on a subconscious level, it does affect everybody in this space,” she said.

Hagglund decided to return to the classroom at the beginning of the school year instead of remaining virtual and teaching from home. So, the changes to her classroom meant as much to her as she wanted it to mean to students.

“It’s definitely for my students, but also for me. Spending so much time at school, it’s like a second home. I chose to come into my classroom because my house is a little chaotic. It was a little escape,” Hagglund said. “I think everybody at that point was like ‘get me somewhere else besides my house’. It was something for me to put my energy into that made me feel creative, because that’s something that I really need as an individual, which speaks to the classes that I teach. But I also think it sets the tone for my students to invest in their space and to do things that make them feel good. I would say I’m in a better place and it feels nice coming in every day to something that’s clean, organized and neutralized.”