Well its hard to believe, but it's already that time of year... Back to School is upon us. You can't walk into any department or club store without being bombarded with Back to School promos and specials. As we gear up for another school year, we at Learners Edge, a provider of online courses for teachers, would like to focus our next few blog posts on helpful tips and resources that you can use to help get your school year started on the right foot. This week's topic is centered on "Your Ideal Classroom."
The beginning of a new school year is the perfect opportunity to redefine how your classroom looks and operates ensuring that the space is used the most effectively and efficiently. In previous eras, classroom design was built around "chalk and talk." Student desks were in rows, often with chairs and desks bolted to the floor. Students were required to focus on the teacher who stood at the front of the room and taught.
However, in recent decades, this rigid view of learning has been altered dramatically. The teacher now has taken on more of a "coach" or "guide" role which has resulted in dramatic changes in classroom design. In this ideal learning community, work flows throughout the classroom, rather than only from the teacher.
Here are some ideas on how to build your ideal classroom:
- Ensure that work flows throughout the classroom
- Keep materials ready & 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
- Make technology easy to access
- Place teacher's desk at the back of the room rather than the front- this lends the classroom to maximizing student learning through communication, reflection and reinforcement rather than the traditional "chalk and talk" setup
Check out some ideal classrooms through the illustrations below:
While you might not be able to completely redesign your classroom into your Ideal classroom, there are some minor things you can do or include in your decor or layout to engage and excite your students about learning. Some examples of how other teachers have done this are included below:
Each teacher's ideal classroom is unique and creative and can be a great community-building opportunity between you and your students. Be sure to have your students draw pictures of how they would like their classroom organized. Invite parents to offer their suggestions as to what they think would engage their children in active learning. Treat your classroom as a blank slate and turn those boring walls that look like a box into your ideal classroom. And, if you are a new teacher looking for great ways to organize your classroom and start your teaching career on the right foot, make sure to explore our New Teacher Resources!
Comment below with your ideas for your ideal classroom so we can learn from each other and build the Learners Edge community's ideal classroom.