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Where’s Melanie?

Hi Everyone!  I know that I have some faithful followers out there that check my blog daily for new classroom inspiration and I have to admit, I’ve neglected my blogging responsibilities!  I’ve been quite busy with my day job (teaching my sweet 1st graders) and working on my classroom themes in the evening.  Even though you haven’t heard from me in a while, I am still here WORKING behind the scenes. 

I know that you are waiting anxiously for new photos of my latest theme.  They should be ready any day now.  Just like you, I can’t wait to see them!!!  As soon as I get them, I will work hard to get them up ASAP! 

In addition, I’ve made a BIG life decision…I’ve decided to resign from my teaching position.  This has been the HARDEST decision I have ever made.  My whole adult life has been about school, my students, and teaching.  After 15 years of being in the classroom, I still love it.

So, why am I leaving? 

Schoolgirl Style has taken a life of it’s own.  I could literally spend hours upon hours answering emails, designing, staging rooms, and shopping for upcoming photo shoots.  Most of you know that in addition to working two jobs, I have three children.  I’ve decided that I can no longer do it all.  I am struggling to maintain a healthy balance.  After TRYING to do it all for several months, I knew that I had to let go of either Schoolgirl Style or teaching.  I took long walks and cried my eyes out while I thought about the possibility of leaving the profession that I loved so much.  I struggled and struggled with the decision.  Ultimately, I chose to continue with Schoolgirl Style.


I have heard this word over and over in your emails, on my Facebook page, and in your sweet comments.  I began to realize that Schoolgirl Style is more than just pretty rooms, it is about inspiring all of you.  Teaching is hard.  It is the hardest job out there.  Teaching is lonely.  Teaching is stressful.  Teaching is draining.  Sometimes we get so caught up in the stresses of the job the and the rigorous curriculum, that it begins to suck the life out of us. 

I’ve found that classroom decorating is a little “brain break!”  Isn’t it fun to think of surrounding yourself in your favorite colors and things that you love?  The classroom environment is SO important (just as important as the curriculum), but we tend to overlook it.  Not only is the environment important for our students, but it is just as important for YOU! 

I’ve heard from teachers about how they feel inspired for the first time in years.  When I get emails like this, it really can bring tears to my eyes.  It makes me so incredibly happy to hear that I am impacting the teaching profession and helping all of you!

So, leaving teaching is sad, but at the same time, if I can inspire teachers and put some excitement back into teaching, I am impacting the profession on a larger scale.

I’ve decided not to worry about my blog this week and to just enjoy my last week with my students.  I am enjoying being a teacher for a few more days.  I am packing away and hauling everything home for the biggest teacher garage sale you have ever seen!  *I bet you wished you lived by me because you could get some great deals! Smile

So, with my new full time Schoolgirl Style job, you can expect more blog posts, more inspiration, and a few more changes to the blog coming soon! 

Exciting times ahead!

~Happy Decorating~



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  1. Lorraine @ Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies says

    I am happy and sad for you! Sad you are leaving such a wonderful yet stressful profession but happy you are taking care of you! I selfishly am glad you made the choice you did. I love your blog and agree with those who say you are an inspiration. Can’t wait to see your next theme!

  2. Laura Jordan says

    I found you and your website a couple of months ago (as I am new to blogging) and was so very impressed with your creativity. In fact, I am moving to a new grade level next year and can not wait to give my room a new look because of your amazing and wonderful ideas. Although, you may not be in the traditional classroom, you are still a teacher! You are teaching teachers. My blog title is TIPS: teach, inspire, and prepare students. Well, you are doing that very thing for your colleagues. You are an inspiration! I am extremely thrilled for you and can’t wait to learn more. I wish for you nothing but the best!

  3. Crystal says

    Dear Melanie,
    Thank you for seeing a need for beautiful inspirational spaces that can uplift all who enter. I have been ordering and stock piling for my new room next year. Your blog helped me get excited for designing a beautiful space instead of just a functional (or dysfunctional) space. You’ve helped me to shift from seeing a classroom for the past eleven years to seeing a living space that we LIVE in for ten months of the year!
    May you continue to be the change you wish to see. Wishing you all the best in your new adventure!
    A fan of your creations,

  4. Amy Crow says

    Congratulations! What a huge decision! You are so brave and I have no doubt you will be successful in whatever career you choose. You are very talented. I so wish I lived near you for that garage sale! I would totally camp out in front of your house and be your first customer!!

  5. Colleen says

    Good choice, Melanie. You can’t do it all. I’m thrilled for you and wish you nothing but HUGE success with this business! I’ll be there in MI at the end of June…may have to see if you have any of your great deals left! 🙂

  6. Brittany Banister says

    Where do you live??? It would be worth the drive! 🙂 Congrats on this chapter of life!

  7. Christi says

    Melanie, I was just chatting with a new teacher about you today. She’s trying to decide her theme next year and asked if I had seen your ideas. I was surprised to find out I was moving rooms next year on the last day of school this year. Instead of it being a chore, it was fun. My principal even praised me for moving so happily. It’s all because I was excited to redecorate and use some of your ideas and inspiration. Your students will miss you, but you will reach so many more with your continued blogging adventure.

    Enjoy your last days and good luck hauling everything home!
    Christi ツ
    Ms. Fultz’s Corner

  8. Jennifer Agard says

    I am one of those people who you have inspired!!! I wish you the best in your full time venture!!! And I AM in Michigan, so scoop me on the when and where of your garage sale!

  9. mary says

    Bittersweet – but I am thrilled for you! Enjoy your last week – soak it in. I know your colleagues, students, and families will miss you. Best wishes to you on your life!

  10. Shelly Lillie says

    I am sooooo excited for you and this new chapter! Thanks for inspiring me too! Looking forward to picking out a cute theme for my classroom this fall! Thanks!

    One fellow 1st grade teacher to another (at least for the rest of this week!)

  11. Tracy says

    DREAM BIG!! I can totally see a Schoolgirl Style store or catalog! Best of luck to you!

  12. Heather Nelson says

    How exciting!! You know, I’ve often thought that teaching is one of the few professions where most end up right where, or very near, where they started. And… I don’t know how things are in Michigan, but here in Indiana, the state government has made so many crazy decisions regarding teachers and schools that it feels like they are completely redefining how we can do our jobs! Teaching is not the same profession it was when I started 15 years ago! Having said that… I have to say I’m just a little jealous of your opportunity! ;). Lucky us though! You are so talented and creative! Enjoy your new endeavor!!

  13. Debbie says

    I admire all you have done and now having the courage to leave knowing that you have found this wonderful niche!!!! Good for you. I have no doubt in my mind how successful you will be. Congratulations and enjoy the ride!!!

  14. Tina Crofts says

    This post brought happy and sad tears to my eyes. Happy, because you are doing something you love and are good at. Sad, because you are also a good teacher and leaving your students behind would be hard. Whatever you choose to do, you are going to be great at it. You HAVE inspired so many of us and I am so thankful for you.

  15. Maria says

    Wow, what a big decision to make. I’ve only been teaching for 7 years and that is where my passion lies, but I just began blogging this past year and I can easily understand how people transition from teaching into blogging full time. I’m thrilled for the new chapter in your life and excited that you have a much better chance at finding balance as you leave the teaching profession.

    Also, I live near you! Well, technically about an hour away but that’s close enough. I would love, love, LOVE to see that garage sale. If there’s any way you could email me when you set the date, I will BE THERE. I hope I don’t sound like too much of a stalker 🙂

    Best of luck. Enjoy your last week in the classroom!

  16. Tina Moricz says

    Congratulations! Your site is amazing and I know that you will do well in your next endeavor. You might not have your own classroom students to inspire, but your work will touch hundreds of students whose teachers are inspired by your designs. Besides just creating ideas for our classrooms, perhaps you could become an in class designer by going into teacher’s classrooms and helping them do a Schoolgirl Style makeover. I think you should pitch your idea to HGTV. I would totally watch it and I volunteer to be your first customer! Best wishes for a successful garage sale and happy last week with your kids.

  17. Jill H. says

    Congratulations! That is truly awesome! I just found your sight a couple of weeks ago and you so inspired me that I haven’t stopped thinking about school starting back. I have a new room this year and we are changing curriculum slightly to common core so my mind is constantly turning and looking at everything I see and trying to think how I can use it! 🙂 You are an inspiration and I can’t wait to make my room inviting for me and my students! This is definitely something I’ve overlooked the importance of and I do believe it is important! It keeps the creative juices flowing when you are happy in your surroundings. Good luck to you and I look forward to seeing all the new items when you are able to focus your energy in this one area. I’m currently reading Linchpin by Seth Godin and it reminds me of you! You are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing – you are indispensable!

  18. Corey Power says

    Thank you for all of your inspirations! After taking 8 years off to raise my three children I have been back to teaching for 2 years and have found you and schoolgirl style helping me feel better about what I do! Your themes have sparked many more ideas than you could possibly know. Enjoy this new stage of your life and remember every year you impact not only the 20 kids you had but thousands across the country. Thank you! Enjoy your last few days with your kiddies and I look forward to being inspired by you soon!

  19. 3rd Grade Teacher from California says

    Congratulations on your decision! I love your website and creative ideas and vision. I love decorating too and that is just ONE of the reasons I love teaching. I always change my room on the first of every month! You have been an inspiration to me, especially being brave enough to take care of you and resign. Enjoy this next chapter in the school book of life 🙂

  20. Anne T says

    Melanie, you’re writing about me above when you say that you’ve inspired and uplifted teachers. I’ve been teaching for over 20 years and was feeling pretty burned out after a tough year. Your posts and ideas have me looking forward to next year already! I’m going with lime green, black and white!! Congrats on your thoughtful decision!

  21. Amy Jones says

    I just discovered your website TODAY, so I am happy you will continue to update it! Its always to leave a job on a positive note. I am happy for you. BTW, what state do you currently teach in?

  22. jenn says

    Melanie-I know how you feel! I had taught for 12 years then took 8 years off to be home with my children when they were young. 5 years ago I returned back-first tutoring and substituting then went back into the classroom full time teaching 1st grade! I LOVED it!!! This spring I cried, prayed, talked to family and friends about returning next year. My husband started a new business about 4 years go and it is doing really well- but he is traveling a lot. The year I returned back to teaching, my 5th grade son who had always had A’s and B’s started to struggle more than usual- we had him tested and found out he has dyslexia. We put him in a private dyslexia private school about 20 minutes away and this year he graduated 8th grade from the school.
    NOW for HS- My school district still is not on the Dyslexia page with us, so we are going to mainstream him into another private school and also have his rising 6th grade sister join him. Again- 20-30 minutes away. Over the past few months I have been feeling like my 11 & 14 year old need me again- like when they were toddlers. My son is in honor programs and will need my support for reading and writing. I love teaching, and I am not the type of teacher to closes the door and leaves my work at school. So after lots of tears, I have decided to take a couple of years off to be there for my family. YOU have inspired me to try new things, a while back you were so kind to respond to my e-mail about how to create handouts and materials. THANK YOU!! I am really excited to TRY and start my 1st blog this fall. I am thinking about decorating, organizing etc- My house needs a total re-do from the last 5 years! Best of luck and I know you will be very successful- I love your blog and so many of my friends enjoy reading your blog too!

  23. Laura says

    You are so right! As I read down the list of comments, the word INSPIRE is what I see. Thank you for inspiring us all! My prayers are with you as you enter this new chapter in your life. Think of all the children who will be impacted by the lovely classroom environments you help their teachers create! What a wonderful opportunity! I can’t wait to see what’s next!

  24. Nena says

    So happy for you! It’s tough when you love ALL your jobs! Thank you for inspiring those of us still in the classroom (my 20thyear!). And who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?! Keep up the good work and continue to INSPIRE! :o)

  25. Jennifer says

    This is GREAT news (for you and for us)! I just discovered you in March when I was really ready to walk away from teaching, but after seeing your designs, I’m looking forward to next year again. Thank you for making me feel like its okay to spend time and money on “pretty things” instead of educational “tools” because they do make a difference in the classroom. Can’t wait to see what you can do with a full-time job here! I agree with the person who said they would love to see you with a store or catalog.

  26. Susy says


    I have been teaching 4th and 5th graders for the past 18 years. Next school year I will be teaching 3rd graders. I was so emotional over that move, I can’t imagine how tough this decision was for you.

    Yes, I agree with those that say you will still be a teacher. I have learned so much from you and have definitely been INSPIRED to make my classroom beautiful. I look forward to all of your new ideas!

    I will be contacting you in July for some ideas to decorate a classroom with Univ. of Michigan colors.

    Thank you for inspiring students and teachers alike.

  27. Natasha Rachell says

    Melanie I am so happy for you! I know this had to be a very hard decision but please know that you will continue to live on as a teacher through all of those that you inspire through your blog. I cannot wait to see more of your thoughts throughout your blogging! Keep up the great work. I will be praying for your continued strength and inspiration throughout this transition in your life! You can do it!!!!


  28. Beth says

    I know the decision you have made has been a difficult one to make, but I for one want to personally thank you for your upbeat attitude and inspiration you provide to others…..A dear friend of mine sent me your blog site. I was drawn in and loved what I saw. Like a couple others have mentioned…I have been teaching for over 20 years. With the changes that have occurred in education, not all for the good, it has made teaching much more of a chore than it once was. The past couple of years have been draining, then with the passing of my mother this past February, I did not want to return to the classroom. I managed to keep putting one foot in front of the other to get through each day, but it was not much fun. After exploring your site and thinking things through, I have decided to change my classroom environment. I am so glad my friend shared your site with me because it has inspired me and renewed my excitement for teaching. I cannot wait to get back into my classroom after the summer cleaning is done, so that I can prepare for the new school year – all with a renewed freshness and excitement. I have already been on the hunt for just the right things for my classroom and I am happy to say that I have most of them bought. Now I want to get in and decorate!!!!
    Thanks for your inspiration and I wish you the best of luck and I am sure you will do well with your new adventures.
    Thanks again:)

  29. Mariam says

    Im so excited for you to start a new chapter in your career! Thank you for inspiring beautiful classrooms for children to learn and grow! Hmmm I may have to stake out this BIG teacher garage sale, I’m in Michigan too!

  30. Heidi says

    Ohmygoodness! This IS a big decision! Congratulations! I can only imagine how hard of a decision this must have been. Obviously, your love for designing classrooms stemmed from your love for your students. This is so exciting though! What a great step of faith, and I am so excited for you! As a first year classroom teacher, I can totally relate to your feeling of being ‘unbalanced’ with so much on your plate. Hats off to you for making a great decision that I believe will help you (and your family) be healthier and happier! Yay for Schoolgirl Style!

  31. T Wade says

    I do believe your decision is going to be fulfilling and rewarding. You will change the teaching world with your inspiration and talent. I know that the people who look up to you most, your children, will love the fact that you are happy. I also know that teaching can rob you of your health and sanity! Take this time to recognize that you are embarking on such a wonderful adventure like never before. Best Wishes,

  32. Amy Overton says

    You are a gifted designer. I am sure you were a gifted teacher as well, but I am glad you choose to continue schoolgirl style it has been a wonderful inspiration to me. I was out of the classroom for 13 years to raise my children and this was my first year back and your ideas have ever creative bone in my body working over time. I can’t wait to share photos once I put my room back together in the fall. Can’t wait to see what you come with next.
    Good Luck,
    Amy Overton

  33. Heidi says

    My best friend, colleague and shopping partner in crime…I am so proud of you and excited for this new chapter in your life! If I had your business card, I would be distributing it to each person who complimented my classroom decor. Grand Blanc is losing one of the finest in the elementary profession. What an impression you have had upon so many students, staff and parents – and me! I cannot wait to see what you accomplish next. 🙂 Love you friend!

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