Preschool Classroom Design: “Before” Photos

So have I mentioned lately that I start a new job in two weeks?

Yeah. Kinda freaking out.

In case you missed it, I took a job as a teacher of the 2s and 3s classroom at our little cooperative preschool to begin this fall. And even though it’s currently eleventy million degrees outside in Texas, the school year is upon us. I’m excited, inspired, and raring to go.

Oh, and I might add, more than a little terrified.

This represents a pretty big career shift for me…leaving the world of specialized intervention to become a teacher of all.  I’m bringing in a ton of knowledge of chid development and am passionate- almost militant- about teaching young children the way they are made to learn rather than how we want them to learn. But that’s for another blog post (or 100). Today I thought I’d give you a glimpse of something concrete- my classroom!

The Official “Before” Photos

Our coop moved to a new location over the summer- a handful of dedicated parents banded together and moved all of our belongings from one old house to another old house, luckily right down the street. Our new building is chock full of character and charm- it’s a little 1930’s gem in the heart of Denton that just radiates with possibility. But there’s also a TON of work yet to be done to get up to code, and the clock is ticking.

So first I’ll show you where we started. Here are some photos of my space, right before we moved all of our shtuff into a giant mound in the middle of the floor.

View from Kitchen

First, an orientation. My “classroom” actually consists of the front two rooms of the home that create an “L” shape. The photo above shows the longest, narrowest part of the “L,” and you can see how the room continues around the corner to the left. You can also see the front door in the upper left of the photo. Gorgeous wood floors, door, and trim, right? And I love the light, bright windows (the curtains have since been removed).

Front Room

Here’s another view- this is the front room that was obscured from the last photo. The front door is on the wall to the left of the photo. All the shelves that are sticking out of the wall in these photos have been removed.

Built-in shelves

Here’s a view of the space with my back to the front door- you can see the super cool built-in shelving and the open door that adjoins to the kitchen.

Front Porch

The front door leads out onto a concrete porch- I’d love to find a way to enclose it and make it an extension of the classroom so my littles can enjoy some outdoor art and sensory during free choice play.

Front Yard

Here’s a view of the front yard as it was before we moved in. It’s enclosed by a picket fence and shaded by two enormous trees and has a fabulous spot for a butterfly garden…a perfect garden classroom.  I don’t have a good before photo of the back yard at the moment, but there’s a big one. And watching that space come to life is going to be so fun!

So now that you’ve seen what I’m working with, stay tuned. Next time I’ll show you what we’ve done so far, my design influences, and a sneak peek at some fun thrifted finds I’ve been squirreling away for the classroom. I can’t wait to share it with you!!


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  1. Fern Culhane says:

    new beginnings are always exciting. What lucky children they are to have you!

  2. This is so cool! Thanks for sharing. I love seeing other’s classroom spaces, especially those who have preschool within a home. Posts like this always give me tons of ideas for my own preschool. I’m looking forward to seeing more!

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Sarah! I’m so glad you stopped by! I also love that our school is an old house- it helps everything feel less institutionalized and more nurturing for the children and the staff. I want my classroom to be my students’ “home away from home,” and I love thinking about the family that originally lived here and what they might think about how their home is being used now. Just to clarify…this isn’t my personal home, it’s an old home we are using for our cooperative preschool setting. Not sure if I made that clear in the post!

  3. So excited to see what you do with the space!

  4. I can’t wait to see how you transform this space. What a lovely environment for children to learn in – a home!


  1. […] front rooms of a small home built in the 1930′s. If you missed the photos, you can see them here. Please excuse the hazy quality of the photos- I took them with my […]