While parents and students are busy shopping and preparing for school opening, we find our teachers and instructors also caught in the same shopping frenzy. Their shopping list, however, looks more extensive than the regular supply of pencils, paper, and crayons. On their list you will find hammers, paint, construction tapes and all other materials meant to create a conducive hub of learning for this year’s scholars.
While the classroom’s overall aesthetics of design and color excite the senses and inspire creativity, there is still the question of whether teachers are missing opportunities to create a classroom that maximizes teaching and learning.
So what is the ideal classroom setup? Admiral Herbert G. Hopwood Middle School teacher Victoria Nishida considers a conducive learning environment important for student’s success as it promotes academic achievements and social and emotional well-being. She believes that, in a positive learning environment, students develop sense or moral and civic traits of competence, citizenry, and responsibility. The long-term effect is that our students become productive, knowledgeable, and proactive members of our society.
Nishida, who has been teaching math, social studies, and science for 11 years now, said, “Gone are the days of the traditional classroom setup, where students’ desks were in rows while the teacher positioned herself in front and center of the room.”
Compared to previous years, teachers now have taken more of the role of facilitator of learning. The classroom layout has changed to reflect the teacher’s changing role, said Nishida.
The Chalk Blog provides the following suggestions to creating an ideal classroom
Make the room a “learning studio” by populating the room with movable furniture and walls that can be reconfigured for different learning situations that will allow for collaborative, individual or group learning.
Keep materials ready and abundant—including books so that a student can engage in casual reading if they have a spare moment.
Create a place where students can meet and feel secure—students learn from each other, they need a consistent environment where they can have face-to-face interactions. Provide comfortable seating and lighting for students who need an alternative to the typical classroom chairs and desks.