Classroom design

We all love reading in my family – my husband and I are real bookworms. I myself also love books – I buy so many, I wonder if I’ll ever have the time to read all of them in this lifetime.

I started buying books for my baby daughter long before she was born. Even before she was able to hold things up, we gave her books so that she could play with them. And she had her own library in her room – of course, she was not able to get the books at that time as she was just a small baby. However, after we moved into a new place, her books were placed in a special plastic box in our TV room so that she could get them any time she wanted to. Curiously, her books were completely forgotten there – I was the only one who would have a look at them in order to organize them and get rid of the dust.

Some weeks ago, the plastic box was broken and I decided to place all her books in our TV stand. Magically, she got really interested in them all over again as she was able to see them and to grab them easily. And that made me think a lot about my own classroom… I realized I wanted to redesign it!

books on our TV stand

And I started it right away! I rearranged furniture, organized a small library, cleared the clutter, created a teaching station… but I still have a long way to go – I still want to hang some posters and pictures on the walls, have a special place for dictionaries and games so that students can grab them easily, mount my projector, get some new furniture…

In my first post here, which was about creativity, I mentioned that students have to feel their classroom is a unique place, which will also help them in their learning process and will nurture their creativity. I wholeheartedly believe that a learning environment that is really conducive to both teaching and learning is of paramount importance.

I do know that things are far from ideal most of the time. However, in my ideal world, every teacher would have their own classroom so that they could design it the way they wanted.

References:

Michele Schwertner

Michele Schwertner is an English teacher, a teacher trainer, a freelance consultant and an e-moderator. She is currently working on a teacher training project - Pro-ELT 2 - for the British Council Malaysia and she is a member of NUPEAD (Núcleo de Pesquisa, Ensino e Aprendizagem de Línguas a Distância at UFSM (Universidade Federal de Santa Maria). She is also the president of APIRS - Associação de Professores do Rio Grande do Sul.

2 thoughts on “Classroom design

  1. Hi Michelle,

    We have had a similar experience with our son and his books. I, my parents and my in-laws have all bought him far too many books so that he has a huge selection to choose from. We put all of these books under his bed with the spines showing so that he could get them whenever he wishes. The effect has been amazing and he now happily picks up a book to read it. Seeing as he is still only 2 he can’t obviously read, but he imitates us reading the stories.

    Thanks for sharing this story and the insights it offered you.

  2. Stephen,
    you know what? My baby daughter has just started doing it and we feel so happy about that!
    I guess it’s all a matter of keeping their books within reach and seeable view in order to keep them enthralled!
    Thanks a lot for sharing your story, as well!
    Best,
    Michele

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