Children spend as much, if not more, time at school than at home, so shouldn’t our learning environments be given the same attention and care as our home environments? While recently reading this article about how to achieve Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese art of harmonizing with the surrounding environment, in the home, it struck me how closely related the goals of a home and school environment really are. We want our homes to be warm, comfortable places and we would all love the same for our schools. Most of us place a lot of attention and care towards decorating our homes and to creating our own personal havens. Shouldn’t equal care be given to our children’s learning environments?
In my opinion, the answer to this question should be a resounding “yes.” In order for our students to flourish, we need to provide spaces that will support them and what we wish them to accomplish.
To get started, ask yourself these questions about your classroom:
Is it supporting my students and their learning as best it can?
Is it in alignment with how I really envision my space?
Does it connect to my purpose and my goals for my students?
Once you’ve determined the answers to these questions, you can get to work on creating the learning environment you envision by following some of these tips:
- Display artwork and classwork in a thoughtful manner to create a student centered environment.
- Let your students choose how they are most comfortable learning by providing flexible seating and work areas.
- Clutter can be overwhelming and distracting, so declutter in order to improve focus and overall mood.
- Focus on the positive by displaying positive class goals rather than negative ones.
- Add plants and other natural elements to your space. Not only do they create a warm atmosphere, they can also improve attention and even make you feel happier.
- Create a quiet spot where students can be alone with their thoughts and have some time on their own.
By following even just one or two of the above suggestions, you will be amazed by the improvement in mood, focus, and overall feeling of wellbeing they will contribute to your classroom. By making a few simples changes, you can ensure that your physical space is able to support the goals you have set for you and your students.