The Bow Tie Boys

The Bow Tie Boys

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Physical Comfort in a Classroom

I would have to say that 90% of my classes have been physically characterized by rows of desks with some posters and a teachers desk in the corner. Obviously, this is very bland and boring. There are a few of my classes, that other 10%, that do something that make the classroom a better environment to learn. This can be very small things like a nice lamp, or even just a layout other than rows.

A current teacher of mine has a very comfortable room that is very welcoming. They have nice scented candles, that make the classroom smell good. I find this creates a soothing atmosphere. Also in the room are a few mushroom chairs, a lamp, a bistro table, and walls displaying student work. These improvements really shine through and create a classroom that provides physical comfort, so that mental and social comfort can occur. The class is one where there is little unorganized commotion, and students don't feel the need to get up and move around. The lamp in the room provides a nice touch, creating light that is a lot easier on the eyes compared to the white streaks produced by many school ceiling lights. The mushroom chairs are nice places to do in class reading and the bistro table not only serves that same purpose but doubles as a one on one meeting place.

In addition to the nice pieces of furniture, the desks are also constantly moved around. On testing days, the desks are put into rows, but every other day, the desks are either in groups or in a circle for discussions and such. There is also a great deal of mobility in class, if people need to move into groups of three, groups of three are made and the desks are rearranged. This in class movement is nice so that the students aren't just sitting through 90 straight minutes, but can have a bit of time to get up and move around a bit. The movement in this scenario is in a manner that is still beneficial to learning.

To create big changes in physical comfort of a classroom, there are only small things needed. A little goes a long way. Even a small lamp can make an important difference by creating a more warm, inviting atmosphere that enables students to learn in an environment where they want to learn. Changing up desk layout is another easy thing that can make a classroom a comfortable place. Moving away from the columns and rows of a standard classroom to groups can make a huge difference. Mixing up the layout of  a classroom keeps things new and fresh, while maintaining the old vibe.

Adding one or two of the things recommended above can excel the physical comfort of a classroom. I would encourage all teachers reading this to incorporate a few "extra" elements into their class to create a better environment to work in. Students not only notice this, but also are very appreciative of the action.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this wonderful post Joe. The classroom environment is often referred to as "the third teacher" - it's THAT important. I love your detailed description of the changes that have such a big impact on learning. Great post.