A negative classroom environment results in behavior difficulties, interpersonal challenges, and an overall unwelcoming tone for students.
Many teachers think it’s vital to have a large space to have a positive classroom environment but you can create positivity and flow in any space, including portable classrooms!
Below we dive into three tips that will help you establish the perfect environment your students needs.
1. Build and reinforce classroom rules and norms.
All students are unique and bring their own experiences into your classroom. On top of that, every teacher has different rules and definitions of what constitutes as “acceptable” behavior. This is why you should assume that you should start every school year from scratch. Take the first week or two to establish classroom norms and explicitly teach your rules. Practice by role playing during morning meetings and remember to immediately reinforce when students are following expectations.
2. Get organized!
Imagine asking one of your energetic students to walk all the way across the room to grab scissors, having to weave in and out of desks – only to struggle to find those scissors since there’s no designated bin! Chaos and clutter sets students up to fail. Organizing your furniture and materials in a structured manner helps make your classroom predictable, and it will make it easier for your students to find what they need when they need it. You’ll also find that there will be less distractions which means less time wasted on tasks and more time learning! For ideas on how to design your room, check out this article.
3. Decorate with your students.
Once you have the layout of your classroom sorted out, you can move onto adding décor. Take this time to build relationships with your students and create a welcoming environment by using their art work or by having them create labels for all the material bins. By engaging students in the process, they’re more likely to be invested in keeping everything organized.
Maximize Your Students’ Space
Whether you lucked out and are in the largest classroom in your school, or if you’re sharing a room with another teacher, organization and order are key. A positive learning environment is essential for prosocial behaviors. Making your classroom more comfortable can make your students more successful. Play around with seating arrangements; what works best for your students? It can change every year! Maybe tables with flexible seating will work better than traditional desks and chairs. Don't have a lot of square footage to work with? Provide resources around the room utilizing wall space. A sight word wall, for example, can help to ease frustrations for early learners. Additionally, you can position easels, tables, and file cabinets to create space for down time and reading.
We hope the tips above help you gain the classroom space you need. If you’re looking for custom space solutions, our architects are willing and ready to help. Reach out today to learn more!