Every teacher knows the struggle: keeping your students motivated and helping them focus in class should be considered hard work these days. It seems like there’s nothing in the word that will make kids interested in school and school subjects, and boring classrooms aren’t helping. If you could just change the surroundings a little bit and make it more inspirational, you’d help kids stay motivated and pay more attention while you’re teaching. To help you achieve this goal, we give you a few innovative classroom designs which both you and your students will love.
If you have students who are always fidgeting, you can start by embracing flexible seating arrangements: put in different types of chairs and every fifteen minutes or so do an activity that makes students stand up and move around. Make them stand up and write something on the board, arrange them into groups and ask them to do a task as a group, and every now and then do a quick game, so they can stretch and walk around a bit. Not only will it make the class more interesting, but they will use their energy and won’t find it as difficult to sit when you’re working on something more serious and demanding.
Spaces for creation and collaboration
Desks and chairs are something every classroom should have, and that’s easy, but should they be boring and uniform? What about those creative tasks you give your students and tasks that ask them to collaborate with other students? When you’re looking for new school furniture, make sure you include spaces where your students can work comfortably with each other and sketch and build with ease. Clear surfaces that allow them to compare notes and where they can easily access different kinds of material are a real blessing and make learning a much easier process and a nice experience for everyone.
While there are teachers who complain about technology distracting their students, many others have seen the potential and embraced technology much to the delight of their students. It doesn’t matter if they’re preschoolers, teenagers, or adults, students love devices, and you as a teacher have a chance to place useful information at their fingertips. Use computers, tablets, interactive boards, and video screens to motivate your students and help them learn how to use these devices responsibly and safely. You can encourage your students to use their tablets and iPads to practice and learn things at their own pace by installing useful learning apps and using them while they’re at home or while they commute.
Last but not least, you could (and should) always ask your students what they think about changing the layout of your classroom. After all, you are doing this so both you and them can work better, learn more, and be more efficient, so it’s only natural that they should have a say. Start by asking them to name things that are new in the room, but also to name things that they feel are unnecessary and which are distracting them. They will quickly point out the things that have become visual noise and they will be thrilled with the changes, so you can learn from their feedback and use it to improve the classroom.
Even though it feels like it’s impossible to spark interest in your students, an unconventional approach to teaching and innovative classroom design can help both you and them feel like you’re learning without actually being in school. Not only will the classes become more interesting, but your students will be better prepared for working in innovative offices some day.