If you are a teacher (or even a student), you never know what environment students come back to after school: it might be as much supportive, encouraging, and learning-friendly as promoting laziness and self-doubt. However, you do have control over your classroom space, and whether it facilitates student progress, well-being, and personal growth largely depends on your efforts and creativity.
Don’t underestimate the power of décor. A classroom is a place where students (especially young students) spend most of their daytime learning to communicate, overcome challenges, and solve difficult matters. The vibe of your classroom depends on their mood, productivity, efficiency, and desire to study.
Classroom decoration is the reflection of a teacher’s personality. In its power, it is to evoke curiosity in students, facilitate out-of-the-box thinking, inspire and give a sense of safety and security. An apt classroom décor promotes collaboration and teamwork, as well as helps to establish positive and productive relationships with both students and their parents.
The key rule of a good classroom décor though is sticking to a golden medium. You don’t want it to resemble an endless party, nor have it overly strict and oppressive. Let’s check these classroom decoration ideas that can turn any space into an uplifting and study-friendly environment.
1. Make Use of the Door Space
As much as the eyes are the mirror of a person’s soul, the door is the mirror of the classroom. From it alone, anyone entering the classroom understands what to expect and shapes their mood and behaviour accordingly, before they cross the threshold. A quick glance at the door might evoke cheerfulness and excitement, as much as instill distress or fear.
The idea is to make it friendly and welcoming. But don’t go overboard: it shouldn’t scream that it is all about endless fun and parties. The message should be: this is a place of cooperation and discussion, where you will be listened to and supported, learn many new things, and grow both academically and personally.
Moreover, the classroom door has a wide empty area which is good for storage. Many teachers disregard this opportunity, but the backside of the door is an excellent spot to hang on the most important announcements or motivational and organizational information.
You may post up educative or inspiring quotes by famous writers, scientists, or celebrities, hang on the dashboard with your students’ goals and challenges, or provide some planning and organizational tips for your students. Use the door space to encourage learning, growth, and improvement, as your students will look at it every time walking in or out of the room.
2. Organize the Storage Space in the Classroom
It’s common when the room is small while the things to store are many. By using a creative approach to organizing the storage zone, you’ll kill two birds with one stone and turn the classroom into a bright and functional learning space.
There are plenty of colourful and capacious containers and organizers available for any pocket on the internet, and this is a great idea to bring the mood to the classroom while keeping it clean and tidy. Besides, by playing with shapes and sizes you can create unique yet functional shapes and figures your students will definitely adore.
To keep the stuff organized, use stickers and labels, and make sure that students return everything to its initial place. In fact, stickers are another bright and functional decoration for the classroom. They are also available in different shapes and sizes and can be used for a variety of purposes.
Finally, yet importantly, stick to multifunctional furniture. It is a sure way to keep the room spacious and tidy. Stools-organizers, foldable tables and chairs, original bookcases, and other creative solutions will help you bring comfort and have many storage options in a small classroom space.
3. The Corner of Inspiration
Inspirational ideas may vary. Depending on your students’ age, preferences, and your personal goals as a teacher, you may have a pets’ corner, a reading spot, or a small art studio in the classroom.
“Personally, I love the idea of a tiny classroom library and a reading zone,” – says Pro-papers interior design blogger Madison Blake. “Apart from that it will be enjoyable for any-age students, building your personal reading corner is a fascinating experience. Books automatically make any room cosy and inspiring. With the reading corner, you do not have to push too hard – just release your creative spirit and enjoy the process.”
“Hang a few wooden bookshelves on the wall, add some cushioned furniture to dampen the noise – and voilà, a perfect quiet-time place is ready. Make sure, however, that it doesn’t encourage hiding out and doing some silly things; you still want it to be open enough so students could be a part of the group.”
A reading zone is also a great opportunity to improve the knowledge and skills of your students. Introduce thematic weeks devoted to specific writers or famous persons, arrange games and quizzes, you name it. The goal is to make this spot as much educative as it is relaxing.
4. Thematic Decorations
On the 20th anniversary of the Harry Potter franchise, one of our teaching readers decorated the classroom with Gryffindor colours and themes. The students were on cloud nine living the lives of their favourite characters for the entire week but studying math and literature rather than potions and defence against dark arts. Nevertheless, after a week, the whole group showed twice better progress and academic results.
Thematic decorations are a great way to whip up curiosity and productivity in students. As thematic décor becomes outdated fast, choose one spacious wall and allow your creativity to work. This way it will be easier to replace old decorations with new ones when the time comes.
Finally, encourage your students to help you and participate in decorating the classroom. It will be a good opportunity to train teamwork skills, help new students blend in, improve teacher-student relationships, as well as learn and discover something new.
(Guest Writer: Floyd Colon)
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