A Behind the Scenes Look at the SuperHERO Teacher Classroom Makeover
Hello—Brittany Wheaton—the @SuperHEROTeacher on Instagram here!
When I found out that Lysol wanted to sponsor a classroom makeover to create a happy, healthy classroom for one lucky teacher, I was so excited. I love doing classroom makeovers, and the added twist of creating a healthy, clean, organized, and safe classroom really resonated with me. I couldn’t help but feel like a classroom makeover like this is a huge, life-changing gift because it will support students year after year. When the hundreds of submissions started rolling in, I was overwhelmed.
But everything came into focus when I read the entry Brittany Sinitch submitted.
Meeting Brittany confirmed my gut instinct. She is one of those teachers who exudes energy, confidence, and passion. Her Instagram channel (@fivefootoneteacher) is a source of inspiration for teachers around the country. People are drawn to her amazing teaching ideas as well as her advocacy for students and literacy. Tragically, Brittany, her students, and everyone in attendance at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were victims of a mass shooting that took 17 lives. Brittany’s courage, boldness, and passion for teaching helped her students weather the storm and continue to learn.
There were hundreds of worthy nominations whose stories of loving their students enough to ask for a better environment won our hearts completely. But the contest judges at Lysol and WeAreTeachers eventually selected Brittany as the winner because we all just knew creating a shiny new classroom was going to transform so many students’ lives at Stoneman Douglas High School.
Once we selected Brittany, the exciting chaos began!
While you might have seen the big reveal, where Brittany fell to the floor with tears of joy and wonder, we wanted to give you a behind-the-scenes look at what we did and why we did it.
The Special Touches That Made a Difference
As we planned Brittany’s fresh, fun, new space, we worked to include personal, meaningful touches that represented her and the students she teaches every day. During the interview process, we asked Brittany about her design aesthetic, and when she said, “Two words: yellow and rustic,” we couldn’t wait to let Lysol’s yellow wave its magic wand! I went into overdrive, visualizing a bright, fresh, and safe space.
We started by concepting a mural as a statement piece for the room. We asked Brittany if she had a single word that represented her students and her classroom. “Unbreakable,” she said. The word symbolizes strength, perseverance, and unity. Perfect. Muralist Haley Barry flew to Florida and created the inspiring reminder of persistence that now graces Brittany’s classroom walls, inspiring everyone every day.
Once the mural was complete, we worked to create a fresh, lively, and fun space full of intentional décor designed to promote learning. Perhaps my favorite is the eagle painting that says, “This sky. This sky where we live is no place to lose your wings so love. love. love.” Since the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas mascot is the eagle, this fit perfectly.
Brittany’s emotional response when she saw her new classroom reminded us all of what matters most. The inviting, fresh space immediately made a huge impact on her and her students. Feeling cared for and loved is transformative. We hope that every detail and thoughtful consideration that went into this new, clean, lovely classroom is a tangible reminder of the reason Brittany goes to work each day: the students.
Students deserve a healthy, happy, clean, and safe place to learn.
Thanks to Brittany and all the other teachers who inspire us with their passion, their drive, and their willingness to give so much to kids every day.
Thank you for reading, listening, and supporting Brittany’s classroom makeover!
The SuperHERO Teacher