Teachers Appreciating Teachers: Jonesboro Elementary Teachers Flip Beloved Coworker’s Classroom

(Pictured: The team who helped with the classroom flip)

When Patty Wallace walked into her classroom, at Jonesboro Elementary, on the evening of Tuesday, April 18th, she thought she was coming in to check on a water leak. Several of her co-workers were quietly waiting for her! For the previous 3 days, the group had been working on a complete classroom makeover to surprise Patty.

Mrs. Wallace is the kind of person who will jump in and help anyone whenever they need it. So when fellow teacher, Sheena Frazier, came up with the room redo idea, plenty of people wanted to jump in and help return the favor!

“She is the most humble person I’ve ever met,” says Sheena. “I’ve always loved decorating my room and I’ve always loved sharing ideas with Patty. Last summer when I was sharing some ideas about my room with her, I told her I wanted to make all of my bookshelves black. Patty mentioned that when I decided to paint them to let her know because she wanted to paint hers black too. I was always encouraging her to paint her room! I even told her that I was going to paint her room for her when she wasn’t there! As you know, summers fly and your time seems limited on prepping for the next year. The time just never seemed to be there.”

Fast forward to 4 weeks ago, the idea occurred to Sheena again. “I was going to tackle her room, unbeknownst to her, because I felt she deserved it. Patty’s year has been a pretty rough one. She deserved a little pick me up!”

Sheena began talking to other coworkers and sharing her ideas. Without hesitation, one friend wanted to help. It trickled into a domino effect because then another friend wanted to be in on it. Finally, the group shared the idea with the principal, Marjorie Hicks, who is Patty’s best friend and knows her the best.

“I wanted to make sure this was something Patty would like before going and making such a drastic change to someone else’s room,” said Sheena. Marjorie was definitely on board and thought it was a great idea and also thought it was very well deserving. So, with more people on board, colors decided, and items being ordered for the room, the project was planned to be done during April Break. With Patty having such a crazy year, everyone agreed that this classroom revamp would be the boost to carry Patty through the rest of the year in a beautiful new classroom.

Sunday, April 16th was demo day!

Day 1 was packing day, moving things out, and painting walls. Her bookshelves went to the gym to be painted black, and books were boxed up and moved to the library and other rooms. Keeping things sorted and separated would make putting things back so much easier. On Day two furniture was placed, shelves hung, and curriculum books placed back in order. On day three the group finished up by organizing her items, color coding her books in a rainbow pattern, matching the main mason jars of colored pencils to the books, making her desk area personal with family photos, putting together her brand new chair and hanging curtains and plants to add the final touches.

“We couldn’t believe we had finished in such a short amount of time. We were so excited to do the reveal. We couldn’t wait another day.”  Mrs. Hicks called Patty in a “panic” saying there was a leak at the school and she needed her help asap! Patty rushed over and walked in completely shocked. It was definitely a happy, tearful event watching her walk around and looking at all of the little things that had been done specially for her.

It was the perfect transformation Tuesday! There were so many helpers! Along with, Sheena Frazier, Laurel Hoppe, Stacy Gardner, Hailey Jordan, Ann Grange, Tracy Smith, Jeanne Whitney, and principal Marjorie Hicks all worked as a team to make the change. On day one the room could never have been dismantled nearly as quickly without some very helpful and kind-hearted young men! They finished within an hour! Thank you so much Ethan, Tristan, Derek Jyus, and Kauai!

Patty’s room is absolutely beautiful. Check out this amazing transformation! Thank you Mrs. Wallace for everything you always do for others. This is just one way for everyone to show you how much you are appreciated!