Before students return, teachers prepare the classrooms with great care

NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) – While parents and children scurry to let their last minute supplies for school, teachers get ready for the new year by designing and decorating their classrooms.

North Tonawanda City School District Music Teacher Marissa Greenwald has her room at Drake Elementary ready to go.

“All summer, you’re thinking about the things you want to teach them, and parts of the curriculum that you can also display in the room,” Marissa said. “So preparing the room is a really exciting thing for teachers.”

Miss Greenwald gets a lot of her decorating ideas from Pinterest.

“Seeing what other teachers are doing to get some inspiration, and then kind of looking through my curriculum too, and thinking, how can I display some of the concepts and skills that I want them to know in the room in an engaging way, so they know where to look if they need to remember something,” Marissa explained.

But since she is introducing many of her younger students to music for the first time, some of the decor is a little more conceptual. She uses one of the bulletin boards in her room to display playbills from popular musicals she has seen.

“These are just things that they might grab onto,” she told News 4. “If they’ve been to Shea’s and seen a show, they might be familiar. Like, ‘oh I saw that, and that’s a musical.’ It involves singing, dancing, acting. Those are things we do in music class.”

Principal Patti Adler loves to visit Miss Greenwald’s room while she is teaching. “She is just, has such great control of this children. And the kids love coming to music,” she said.

“It’s really important all teachers come to school well before school starts to set up their plans, and their environment. Setting it up to make it welcoming for all the students to come in, and  feel like they’re ready to learn.”

“In music especially, we ask students to take risks on a daily basis. Sing by yourself. Play an instrument you’ve never played. Try something new. So I hope that they come in and they feel welcomed and they feel safe to just try new things.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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