7 Little Changes That’ll Make a Big Difference With Your Classroom Furniture

Bara Stools paired with Roundhouse bench and mobile bar leaner in classroom

Small changes to the classroom décor might have enormous impacts on the efficacy of your students’ learning. Be sure to consider these seven factors.

 

Refreshing a classroom doesn’t always need to involve big changes or expensive purchases. Sometimes, the smallest detail might make a big difference when it comes to teaching and learning. Here are some strategies which have proved useful to many educators across Australia.

 

1. De-clutter

Before adding any classroom furniture to your space, you might want to consider – what can be safely removed? Some classrooms have furniture which serves no practical function – maybe a filing cabinet, a heavy teacher’s desk or something else which is big and takes up space. Especially when arranging high school classroom furniture, try finding new storage places for excess items that are not required within the space, so that your students have that little extra space to work with.

 

2. Democratise the space

Another high-impact strategy is to ask students for feedback on how the space is working for them. Every few weeks after a class, maybe if a lesson naturally finishes up a few minutes before the bell, open the floor to students and ask whether they think the current classroom furniture is serving them. The teacher is responsible for the space, but the students are the ones using it – so you’ll be surprised what you could find out!

 

3. Welcome the sun

Natural light is another wonderful and free resource which some classrooms underutilise. Fluorescent lights are great for the environment but can convey a draining, clinical feeling. By surveying how the light falls into your space, and by keeping furniture and students from blocking it, the classroom can become brighter and more inviting.

 

4. Foster Independence

For both primary classroom furniture and high school classroom furniture, traditional designs which centre student attention on the teacher also communicate that there is only one real source of knowledge in the room. For modern, STEM driven learning, students can be encouraged to seek out answers for themselves by offering spaces designed for independent learning. This might be something as simple as desks facing towards walls where they can use a computer, or it could mean having readily available reference materials for students around the room.

 

5. Foster Collaboration

Just as how classroom furniture should encourage modern students to seek out knowledge for themselves, a good classroom arrangement will also enable students to learn from each other through collaborative activities. Clusters of tables or a classroom-facing “panel” of tables can be useful ways to help students teach each other, with the teacher as a facilitator.

 

6. Shift the Focus

Changing up the focus points in a classroom can introduce well-needed novelty or flexibility into a classroom. High school classroom furniture especially is often unidirectional, facing a whiteboard and also the teacher’s desk – but by reconsidering where the students can be focusing on, teachers can help students become more aware and invested in their learning.

 

7. Make it Feel Like Home

Classrooms can either feel like dungeons which the students can’t wait to escape from, or common rooms where the students can’t wait to return to. This is especially important for primary classroom furniture, as students will likely be staying in the same space, 4-6 hours a day, for a year. If students feel comfortable and have a sense of ownership of the classroom space, they’ll be more responsive and eager to engage in learning – and teachers will have more fun at their craft too. This is more of a philosophical change compared to the other ideas on this list, but consider how the classroom might become more home-y. Maybe it’s showing student work or progress on the walls. Maybe it’s having a classroom mascot or good luck charm. Maybe it’s an extra whiteboard solely for jokes, funny quotations or inspirational sayings. These small changes breathe life and character into a room, ensuring that students will come to see it as a second home.

 

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