An astonishing number of children globally, unfortunately, do not have access to proper education.
According to some estimates, of the staggering 780 million children worldwide, around 5% have never sat in a classroom.
The numbers do refer to many children in war-torn countries, around the Middle East, South America, and Africa.
However, even in first-world countries such as the US, the number is extremely high due to parental negligence and poor living conditions.
These numbers make you grateful that your kid is not among the 5%, yet even the children attending schools are reporting low performance on tests and are scoring low grades.
Psychologists do not blame the system per se, however, the performance is affected by the classroom, or the environment, to be more precise.
In Sweden and Norway, countries with the highest performance, classrooms have been adapted to suit the needs of the children, and more friendly surroundings are created.
This model can be easily adapted in other countries as well, therefore we’ll discuss some six qualities that can improve a classroom.
The List of Qualities or Characteristics of a Good Classroom
- The equipment
- Include some workshop ideas in the classroom
- Making pauses
- Colours are important
One effective yet affordable way to increase the overall productivity of the students and enhance the quality of the classroom is by simply rearranging the sitting pattern.
Traditional classroom models are mostly teacher-centred, directing the whole attention to the board.
Teacher-centred lessons are not necessarily counterproductive, however, the model itself seems authoritarian, and therefore implementing a rearranged sitting pattern can drastically change this.
By simply putting the tables in a round pattern, the teacher is still in the centre of attention, but by this change, the students have a better look at their peers and a more intimate and more productive atmosphere is created.
Freedom can motivate the students to work harder and be more intuitive.
We also recommend ditching the old one-person-one-table pattern and encouraging letting two or three students share the table.
This sitting pattern is perfect for group work, and a hoof-like pattern is suitable for games.
The simple change of a sitting pattern, an inexpensive solution, can change the whole dynamic of the classroom.
It can boost confidence, encourage involvement, and the students might feel more motivated to do their work.
Traditional classroom sitting positions have their perks, for certain exercises and lessons, but that should be only for a short amount of time, and for a specific lesson or exercise. Implementing new and innovative approaches is what makes a classroom better.
The school’s equipment is mostly determined by the school’s budget. We do understand the costs and the limitations budgets are imposing on schools, however, small changes are usually affordable and can always be squeezed in, with all the other expenses.
We do believe that schools require proper equipment as the students are spending most days behind a table, and most of their time listening to the teacher.
Numerous studies have linked better performance by students sitting behind a clean and new desk, as opposed to the ones worn out and often scratched on by other students.
Therefore, a small investment like purchasing school tables can make all the difference in the world in terms of quality and student performance.
The link is simple, students feel more motivated and encouraged when they have a new and shiny desk in front of them, while old and worn-out desks are associated with failure and lack of energy.
Furthermore, comfortable chairs are a must as students are reporting back pain as early as the 4th grade, and improper posture is contributing to deformities during their early development.
With classes lasting mostly from half an hour to 45 minutes per lesson, and with pauses not longer than five minutes, students spend most of the day sitting rather than standing or walking.
Add to this the low quality of hardwood chairs, and you’ll have a whole generation with back and bone problems.
Such small investments are often within everyone’s possibilities, as we recommend small changes while more advanced equipment can wait.
Ditch the blackboard
When it comes to high performance, most students have reported a lack of understanding of the requirements of the teacher.
Often, teachers are not giving them clear and sound instructions and the problem is a lack of proper knowledge and understanding of the mind of students.
Have them write down your instructions, make them listen by carefully raising your tone while giving instructions, write them in different colours to emphasize their importance (something easily done by buying a whiteboard and some colourful markers) on the board, and let them repeat.
Get also a couple of magnets and pin little notes on the board as a reminder for the students.
Include some workshop ideas in the classroom
One idea for the classroom is making a little workshop and letting the kids work on a craft.
Making something with your hands is connected to developing more neuron connections in the brain and boosting their intelligence.
This can also prepare them for later internships and workshops later on in life, as they’ll have some basic knowledge.
This often depends on the school budget, however, you can always make them make something with the things at hand such as woodcraft or painting, or make use of the whiteboard and let them decorate it.
The pauses between every class often do not exceed five to ten minutes, however, studies have shown a decrease in concentration, especially in your students between the ages of 7 and 10, after half an hour.
Therefore, we recommend making small pauses of about two minutes every 15 minutes, or a little game – a sort of energizer to keep them awake-not longer than a minute.
This requires the classroom to have some handy toys and tools, and of course, this will change their mood and inspire them to pay more attention.
Colors are important
Psychology has pointed out the connection between colors and one’s emotional state.
For example, workspaces should have bright colours, and warm colors such as orange, yellow, or red as it boosts creativity and motivates you to perform better.
While cold colors are more suited for bedrooms and bathrooms, they transmit a more relaxing, less stressful vibe.
This is true for classrooms as well, the change of color can change the mood of the students, therefore get rid of the old color and pick something new and fresh.
Small modifications may go a long way; some are material, while others are in terms of modifying your teaching method and creating a more welcoming environment; whatever the case, your pupils will notice the difference.
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