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Lessons from the Bowerbird

Posted by: Rhonda February 17, 2015

This is an invitation to think beyond the ordinary. Think beyond the pictures in the early childhood catalog. Think beyond the room next door. Think like a bowerbird.

Although an unlikely role model for teachers, this small native of the South Pacific may have a lot to teach us about intentional, creative, classroom décor.  With painstaking precision, the male bowerbird selects and places beautiful objects in his nest, or bower, much like a museum curator carefully selecting artwork. His one aim is to send a message to the female bowerbird: You are important.

Just like the bowerbird, be finicky about what is in your classroom habitat—especially what is posted on your walls. Too many commercially purchased charts and laminated posters are sometimes nothing more than visual noise. They may even convey indifference or boredom if they are indefinitely displayed. Replace these with authentic and child-created artwork that is purposefully and respectfully placed on the walls. Tell your children: You are important. Read on.