It’s important to make the classroom environment as welcoming as possible. A welcoming environment helps inspire students to learn, and generally results in a more positive space for everyone.
But, like most teachers in most schools, you’re probably on a budget. So the question isn’t so much “how do I make the classroom inviting?” as it is “how do I do it on a budget?” Thankfully there are some easy things that you can do to improve the space without giving your school’s principal a quote that they will just laugh at.
1) Make sure the room smells right.
Kids can get smelly – it’s a basic reality of life. When you’re spending all day in a classroom, including holding lessons after lunch breaks where they’ve been running around, the smell can build up, and over time, soak into the very walls of the classroom.
A useful trick here is to put some lightly scented potpourri or crystals in areas beyond the children’s reach (and even better if you can get it out of their sights).
2) Make good use of music.
Obviously when you’re teaching you want the kids to pay attention to you, but when it’s time to settle down into some quiet time, be that classwork, reading time, or otherwise, have some classical music – or other such relaxing sounds – to play softly in the background.
No, don’t go “school of rock” on the children. Classical music’s the one that will help set a pleasant mood in the classroom, and is shown to help with cognitive development, anyway.
3) Have variety in the classroom seating.
Row after row of standard coloured desks and seats looks positively dystopian in today’s environments. Instead, have plenty of playful, coloured classroom seating options, including beanbags, comfortable sofa seats, standing desk areas and so on. In addition to giving the classroom a bright, colourful aura, the children will be able to use whatever furniture matches best with whatever activity they’re doing at the time, which leads to better educational outcomes.
4) Pay close attention to classroom flow.
Either do this yourself, or get someone else to simply watch how the students move around the classroom (you’re busy teaching the class, if can be difficult to do this yourself). If there is congestion at times, then it is a sign that your classroom is feeling claustrophobic and small to your students. If there are areas of the classroom that are underused, then redesign the room so that the entire environment is in constant use. Chances are that with a slight adjustment to the layout of classroom tables and chairs, you can really open the space up.
That will make people feel like they’ve got more room, and the space is more open. The improvement to the mood of the room will be significant.
5) Make use of your student’s work!
Primary school kids are an endless font of creative energy. Rather than leave the walls bare and bland, be sure to stick their work up, and then regularly refresh it with new colours and designs. You don’t want the room looking too busy – that can be distracting – but keeping the room visually fresh throughout the year can really help make those long days deep into the term so much more enjoyable.
For more information on how to use furniture to really make your classroom a pleasant place that children will love (and learn more in), contact the friendly team at Abax Kingfisher. We’ve been supplying distinctive, colourful, and exciting education furniture to Australian schools from local sources for 30 years now. Reach us at 1300 811 054.