High school teachers like myself often consider their students capable and mature. I sometimes believe my students are nearly-independent adults who can manage their responsibilities and focus on their work. However, I have to remind myself that they are still children. They like to have fun, talk to each other, laugh, dance, experiment, and ask questions. The like trips, games, artistic activities, music, and time to play around. So, after many years of diverting attention away from my classroom environment, I decided to make my classroom a fun, welcoming, calming place to relax and learn.
After doing some research, I realized that studies support that classroom environment is important to student attention and learning. Even if students aren’t consciously aware of the classroom’s decorations and design, it still affects the brain and learning. If teachers want to engage students fully and have meaningful learning occur, they will need to be aware of the physical qualities of the classroom.