The children of today and the learners of today are future leaders, decision-makers, and business owners. So much can be learned and demonstrated within a classroom, but, when it comes to what a classroom looks like – does it matter? Well, yes it matters a lot. Uninviting, unwelcoming classrooms that lack excitement can completely deter and put children off from learning. Quite often children do not associate fun and learning, but you can change this. You have the power in your hands to improve your classroom and to in turn have an impact on your school, so where do you start and what should you think about?
Starting With Reflection And Honesty
You cannot make changes to your classroom if you do not know what needs changing or in fact what is not working. So, with this in mind, the first thing you should do is analyze where the problems lie. Is your classroom bland, boring, or just drab and dreary? Get others to look at your classroom too and get them to share their honest opinions. It can be difficult at times to take criticism but it is important to be open so that changes can be made sooner rather than later.
Improve Classroom Layout
How is your classroom currently laid out? Are the tables in a row, are students facing each other and encouraging interaction and discussion, or are they chasing the front. The layout is just as important as the school furniture that is used, so, take a good look at what you currently have set up within your classroom and ask yourself if it is time for a change. Old, outdated and potentially damaged furniture can leave a classroom looking very out of date and uninspiring, so take action to rectify this. Purchase new furniture and accessories including stationery, wall charts, wall stickers. and anything else that you feel will make an impact and gain a reaction.
Make Classrooms More Interactive
Interactive classrooms inspire and promote discussions. When classrooms are more interactive, and they allow students to engage with the class, with others and the teacher then more can happen. Opinions can be voiced, problems can be solved and learning can be more fun. To make a classroom more interactive you could incorporate a virtual classroom that encourages students to write any ideas or thoughts they may have about what you are teaching.
Reduce Your Teacher Footprint
How much time do teachers spend walking or wandering around a classroom? Probably far too much time, and the bad news is that this time is then wasted when it could be well spent. Reduce how much you move about, get desks and seats closer together so everyone feels more involved. When tables are closer together then you are encouraging more interaction, which is good for helping students build their confidence and awareness at the same time.
Ask For Feedback And Listen
Teachers can often just teach what they know and speak constantly to get their point across and while this might work for some classes and classrooms realistically it will not work for everything. Students should be encouraged to talk and give feedback on subjects and topics, and you as the teacher then have a responsibility to listen. Listening to your students through good and bad can help you create a more harmonious and relaxed atmosphere that will ultimately be more productive.
Make Your Classroom Fun And Exciting
Exciting, interesting. and fun spaces can help foster a productive and conducive working environment so take a look around and look at what your space currently says. Honestly are you excited to go to work in the morning and if not then why? You cannot expect your students to enjoy arriving in your classroom if you secretly dread it every morning. A thought-provoking classroom that sparks interest and raises questions is a good place to start when improving your classroom.
Focus On Rewards And A Rewarding System
Students feel motivated to push forwards and continue learning especially when they are rewarded. Introducing a rewards system will help students take responsibility for their learning. No matter what age you teach you will always find a reward system that works for both you and your students. For example, if you teach smaller younger children you may find stickers and color boards work well, whereas if you teach older children you may find that competition boards and reward systems work well. Encouraging healthy competition within students can help them enjoy learning and once again look forward to it.
Improve Lighting And Color Schemes
How a classroom visibly looks makes all the difference. Some colors are too bright, others are too offputting and some are simply distracting. Using a color scheme that sparks creativity will change how students think and learn. Of course, some colors are too garish, bright, and overpowering and so it is important to incorporate colors that leave students feeling empowered. When a school needs rebranding and classrooms need updating then focusing on the color scheme and lighting used should be a top priority, if not the priority. If an environment is uninspiring then it will eventually affect those who are within it, and this will ultimately stop students from learning and turn what should be a fun and creative space into a clinical almost prison-like space.
Improving schools has to start at the grassroots, it has to start with those that are paying for a build or a renovation such as the local councils, governments, or taxpayers. Good well-designed classrooms should be easy to maintain and easy to replicate. When thought and care go into the design, layout, and flow of a classroom learning can be made a lot more fun and enjoyable. Incorporating several ideas and themes may be beneficial to ensure that all classrooms are representative of the students and teachers that use them. Good classrooms can be easily cleaned and maintained which is important to remember. All surfaces must be safely installed and they must be hard-wearing to ensure that they look just as good next year as they do in one month.
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