When you design a classroom there are ways that you can enhance the learning experience simply by what you place in the room. Children will respond to a classroom environment that is well lit and arranged in a group seating manner. Sterile rows of chairs and tables often detract from the learning experience.
Walls that are decorated with posters that offer encouragement or bring humor to the subject taught in the class are also very inspirational. It is not uncommon for a child to “stare off” once in a while during class, and providing them with something that inspires them to look at improves their learning skills.
Classroom design should also include the teacher’s desk in the front of the room, not in the back. While many teachers feel they should sit in the back to oversee their class, it promotes a feeling of being “watched” instead of being “helped.” Children respond better when they can look up from their desks while doing classwork and see the teacher without having to search for them.
Having the desk located in the front of the room also improves communication between the students and the teacher. When a child can easily look up and see their teacher, they are more willing to raise their hand to ask a question. This open communication method increases the confidence levels in all the children.
Finally, when you design a room to teach in, you should consider that your design should be one that can easily be changed. Sometimes, mid-year, it is a good thing to change things in your classroom to provide the class with a new sense of stimulation. Changing the room around provides a way of making the subject matter seem fresh, or gives the teacher a chance to start a new teaching method. The psychological impact of the changed room will create the excitement needed to approach new subjects or rejuvenate a subject that has gone stale.
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