Great teachers always want the best for their students. Of course, there are academic targets to hit and exams to be completed. Teachers also want the students in their classroom to feel good, study well, and be happy with their schooling. This will also make them better students.
Of the many elements that create a great school environment, the classroom has to be one of the most important and is a good place to start. Sure, the kids need safe recreational areas, good food, and welcoming teachers. But, they also need to feel comfortable and ready to concentrate when in the classroom. There are many ways to improve or transform your classroom. Below are six of the best ways to make your classroom a wonderful place for students to develop and grow.
Classroom Design Is Important
There are many factors involved in creating an effective learning environment. It is really important that the pupils comfort, space, and individual needs are taken into account when planning out a classroom. Too often, classrooms are disjointed and uncomfortable spaces.
If they aren’t designed well, it will contribute to a drop in energy and concentration levels. Recently, a study showed that improving comfort and accessibility in a classroom improved overall student performance - based on test results and surveys - by over 16%. Who wouldn’t want that kind of improvement in their studies?
It’s not just about comfort, either. It’s also the use of space, visibility of materials, and adequate lighting that help create a transformed and well-used classroom. With that in mind, let’s discuss the top six key elements to help you transform your classroom.
1. Store Smarter
Too often, at all ages of schooling level, classrooms become a mess with clutter. Even the tidiest of teachers can’t help if pupils throw bags in every corner and spill messes all over the floor. But there are simply a lot of moving parts to a classroom; many teaching materials, books, paints, science equipment and more. It’s very easy to let these things get out of hand, even for teachers that try to stay organized.
This is where well-designed storage comes into play. With better school storage units, you can create and maintain a tidy work environment. Neatly storing things that are less often used, such as collaborative working items, paint, or electrical equipment can free up more space for decoration and educational materials. At the same time, materials like books that are used more often can be stored in easily accessible units.
Things that require adult supervision, messy, or infrequently used can be tucked away and even locked up to prevent damage or injury to pupils. All of this together creates a safer and easier working environment for teachers and pupils alike. Students will be better focused in a more organized environment and teachers are less worried about organization.
2. Interactive Equipment
In recent years, education has started to catch up with technology. Long gone are the days of chalk and blackboard being the main method of sharing educational materials. Even books could be seen as “old school” nowadays since many schools are adopting the use of tablets and laptops on pupil’s desks.
Improved technology in the classroom help build better educational systems. The benefits are two-fold. First, you can seamlessly and directly share more in-depth educational materials with each pupil in the room. Secondly, the children will then intuitively learn how to use more technology - a skill which will certainly be important as they grow up. If your school has the budget, diving into more technology is a great benefit to your students.
3. Comfortable Chairs
Believe it or not, comfortable chairs are important, too. You only have to think of how much better you yourself work when you are in a comfortable environment to realise how important it is to give pupils the same benefit. Sitting uncomfortably can lead to restlessness, tiredness, and posture problems - none of which creates an environment conducive for learning.
Chairs should have adequate lumbar support, backrests, and be the right height for individuals. You don’t want a pupil sitting on a chair that doesn’t allow their feet to touch the floor for example just as you wouldn’t expect a pupil to sit on a chair designed for someone ten years their junior. Make your students comfortable and you will find much more alert and ready to learn.
4. Proper Desks
Alongside the chairs, desks also need to be adequate. Calling back to point 1, desks can also help provide bonus storage, especially if each pupil needs access to their own materials. But, a proper desk is more than just an extra set of drawers.
Desks need to also be the right height - much like chairs – for the age of the class. Again, having a pupil slouched over writing or straining to see comfortably over their desk are not ideal situations. They can cause your pupils to strain their muscles or simply feel wholly uncomfortable while working. Get adjustable desks, if you can, to make sure each student can make their own working space as comfortable and easy to work with as possible.
5. Shine A Light
Lighting is super important for concentration. A dark, dingy room with no natural light is a massive no-no. Again, think of yourself when working. Wouldn’t you feel lethargic, uninspired, and sleepy if you were trying to operate in a poorly lit environment? Lots of natural light is ideal, but if that’s not possible, there are some great lighting solutions that can help the whole room feel more awake.
6. Rethink The Space
Finally, aside from comfort and technical items, the way you use the space can be significantly transformed. Contrary to how schools have been organized for years, your room does not need to be set up with all the desks in a row facing the end wall. Sure, you need everyone to be able to see the learning materials, but it doesn’t need to be so rigid. Instead, consider teaching inside a semi-circle, or creating collaborative working spaces. Students learn to work together on problems, but such a setup can also help increase the interaction yourself and all the students in the room, helping to boost learning.
With these six steps, you can start to transform your classroom. Plus, aside from the ever-growing need for technology, none of this is expensive. Do yourself and your students a favor by developing inspiring, attractive and collaborative classrooms. You will be helping them to learn better and grow into adulthood with much better skills.