A careful and thoughtful teacher knows that teaching involves more than just textbooks and lectures. Some of the variables that will affect how easily students will learn the lesson are the conduciveness and ambience of the classroom. Most teachers have the liberty to decorate the classroom. Use this as an opportunity to transform the room into something that will facilitate learning for your students. Here’s how.
Creative lighting. Lighting plays a great role in keeping your students awake and interested. Studies show that blue lighting has a sleep inducing effect and that slightly yellowish lighting helps to keep individuals more awake. Keep the room well lit with appropriate lighting aids, but make sure that you place the light bulbs and lamps in strategic areas in the classroom that will not distract the students.
Student involvement. When decorating the classroom, remember to involve the students. Studies also show that particular student demographics create classrooms with specific environmental requirements. This means that there is no single best format to follow when improving the classroom environment as you decorate it. One of the best ways to tailor fit the classroom to the student group that uses it is by involving the students in the planning process. For instance, you can ask what interests the students have. Incorporate these interests into the design for the classroom, and find links between their interests and the subjects that you tackle in class.
Display the books. Plenty of students today are growing up without the help of books and literature. Instead, most students use the Internet for information and as references. The Internet can be very useful, but most websites are specifically designed with shorter texts that are tailored for shorter attention spans, and which consequently reduces the student’s attention span. Make students more at home with books by displaying books in the classroom. This will allow the students to feel as if books are a natural part of the environment. Work on improving the shelves by adding decorative embellishments, or by adding stains and varnish on the wood.
Make freedom walls. Another great way to decorate a classroom is by adding a freedom wall, which is basically a bulletin board where students can post anything that they feel. Organizations in school can also post their announcements in the freedom walls. These free spaces allow the students to express themselves and reach out. It also gives the teacher an opportunity to see what types of activities interest the students. This will help the teacher in formulating strategies that will keep the students involved in school.
Update. Make sure that the classroom décor is updated regularly. The teacher can actually embed mechanisms that will keep the classroom décor updated, such as by creating a book sharing program that will keep the books in the shelves fresh and updated with the kind of literature that the students are into. New décor also creates a fresh environment in the classroom. Change the décor at least once every semester. If possible, however, do this every month.
The classroom is where students will spend most of their academic life. Instead of making the room unbearably boring for students, let a well decorated and functional classroom help you teach students.