Foundations and Assessment of Education/Edition 1/In Today's Schools Table of Contents/Classroom Environment

Classroom Environment
Observations and Reflections from Today's Classrooms

It is the first day of school, and the students are already on edge about the teachers they have to deal with five days a week, so why not have a classroom environment that is calm and fun. At the school that I work at some teachers change their bullentin boards every six weeks to go along with the curriculum they will be teaching. I think the teacher should make a game out of it called "What's Different in the Classroom?" I have observed where some teachers will let the students play games to relax themselves before a test or quiz. The classroom environment does not have to be one that is hostile all the time, but it can be a place where students come in to have fun in the process of learning.Msmhobbs04 (talk) 21:24, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

I began a few months ago working at a preschool summer camp. In the fall I will teacher younger four year olds. During my observation of a kindergarten class I paid a great deal of attention to the classroom environment and setup. I feel the way a classroom is set up is vital to ones students. I have been working on my own classroom for the fall over the summer and have found I have changed things around or moved things many times. I finally feel like I have it set up in a good way and now i am moving on to decorating the walls with posters and letters and numbers and shapes and feel overwhelmed trying to get it to look just the right way. But I think it will all be worth it when the children walk into the room. Having visuals on the walls and the right tools in the room is important and I feel will make the children feel more welcome and excited to learn. Lwill031 (talk) 18:16, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Type Responses Here

The classroom I observed in was a happy and caring environment. The teacher made the children feel welcomed and excited to start new art assignments. It was nice to see excitement in the children's eyes as they enter the room and I hope that I can one day be a teacher that makes learning exciting for children. Hcogg001 (talk) 21:30, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

I think that a positive classroom environment is crucial in creating successful students. While doing my observation I saw a few different types of classrooms and how they were run on a daily basis. When the teacher maintains control of the class and keeps the children on track in a positive way, I have seen that the students are most responsive and cooperative.

In the third grade class in a Virginia Beach public school, I was able to take lots of great ideas with me. The teacher used many of the Kagan techniques and incorporated them into every activity. By doing this, the class was constantly praising one another interacting and working together. I think this is so important because it reflects the way the world works outside of school as well. The children are required to work together, solve problems and accomplish tasks. The teacher had so many little ways of keeping the children motivated and on track that things rarely got out of control. I really was encouraged by seeing this all take place. A positive environment with control can really allow the students to learn and work together constantly. Khedl002 (talk) 14:26, 1 August 2009 (UTC)khedl002

I have not yet been able to complete my observation. Classroom environment is so important. It needs to be well organized, and positive. One teacher I really remember I had in 6th grade. She was definitely one of my favorite teachers. I still recall it like it was yesterday. She was so positive, always upbeat with a smile on her face. I could not wait to get to school each day to see what this teacher had in store for us. She spend a lot of time with us on field trips and fun activities. We never knew what she would do next. She was always changing things up to keep us motivated and engaged in what she was teaching. She also had a lot of hands on activities and fun "stuff" for us to do. She was firm but fair. She was one of the best, and really cared about what we were going through as 6th graders. I only hope that I can model those behaviors when I become a teacher. Aferg006 (talk) 04:55, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Having been in college classrooms for quite a while now, I had forgotten how tedious actual high school classes are. Sure in college we have the ubiquitous texters, the facebook checkers, or the admirable sci-fi novel reader, but it had slipped my mind how damn chatty teenagers could be. So this summer's observation was a nice reminder. My god, it was like someone hit a bee's nest with a stick– an incessant drone that was going to make my head implode. However, it is obviously normal for teens to be this chatty– and it takes a good measure of presence to hush these kids up so that they'll actually pay attention. The teacher I was assigned to was a bit on the abrasive side, but in an endearing way. She more-or-less has a no BS policy with her students, and it showed as she would just go quiet– and then immediately an echo of silence would cascade across the room. It was like a serene calm, drowning out all those buzzing bees. The teacher was loud in her scoldings, a bit much for my tastes, and dripping in sarcasm, but her students seemed to respect her and knew when they had stepped afoul. Discipline and classroom management in general is possibly the least appetizing thing I am looking forward to dealing with when I become a teacher. It's not that I don't think I can handle it, I just don't have the patience for it at the moment. Maintaining the right learning environment with lessened incidences of distraction is essential important to me, but I'm definitely in need of working on my tolerance for teenage angst. I'll just start listening to nothing but the bands I liked while I was in high school– maybe it'll put me in their mindset. Hsmit022 (talk) 21:36, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

During my observations in several different classrooms, I noticed that the classroom environment depends on the teacher. The teacher sets either the negative or positive environment. I noticed that the teacher’s attitude towards the students in general made large difference to the overall classroom environment. Those teachers who were quick to point out the “trouble makers” were the teachers who no matter which period it was all classes had “trouble makers”. While those who appeared to enjoy teaching and never had anything bad to say about the students, all of their classes seem to run much smoother. Mlipl001 (talk) 17:02, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

The classroom that I was in for my observation had a very good classroom enviornment. On the walls were posters and pictures that were academically stimulating, and at the same time were appealing to look at. In addition, the teacher made sure that each student respected one another and took equal participation in classroom discussions. She made sure that each student felt accepted and welcome, and that they could freely express their minds. She also kept the room very positive, she didn't allow for much negativity and if there were an issue, she would handle it with patience and a respectful tone. The class was also very academically stimulating. She set the tone for open discussion of the text by allowing the students to each read a certain part of the text. In doing so, she stimulated learning and allowed for a more active classroom enviornment. She definitely set a great classroom enviornment for the students to learn in. Rburt005 (talk) 02:49, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

The classroom environment must be positive for the students to achieve the ability to learn. I observed two different classroom settings, based on the grade levels. In the 4th grade and Special Education class setting the teachers had the students grouped into different tables. This seemed to really help with classroom management. Both teachers used great rapport with the students that aided in the classroom environment. I know that a lot of the ease between teacher and student was because this was the end of the year and they shared the year together. I did get to observe how one teacher handled a student that was unruly in class, she was very calm and maintained control of the rest of the class when this student was disruptive. She had the advantage of the next day being field day and that student would be sent to another classroom instead of being able to participate with the rest of the class. I thought that was a fair punishment and the student was made aware of the consequences prior to the outburst. I had observed in middle school and high school a few years ago, my best friend taught in both. I had thought about majoring in History and wanted to see what a day would be like. Well, although I enjoyed the subject matter, I was not prepared for the setting. I realized that I did not think that I could deal with that age group on a daily basis. I have great respect to those teachers who do it every day, the great ones are the ones that maintain a positive environment for the students while demanding respect, a very difficult task at that age group.Jnewh001 (talk) 00:11, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

I think a positive, welcoming classroom environment is essential to a productive education. My invision of the ideal classroom would be a classroom that is painted with soothing colors; consistent temperature setting (very imparative); comfortable seats that are arranged in a way so that disruption is minimal; and a place in the back of the room that has comfy couches where students who are disruptive can go and cool off. But alas, we live in the real world and this is definitely not the norm. In the 5th grade class I observed in, the teacher's desk was in the back of the classroom. The students desks were in groups of four all facing each other. The teacher had a large stool in the front of the classroom where she could go and write on the board. This classroom was housed in a small, cramped, warm trailer. It was definitely not condusive to learning by any means. You could not see the teachers desk on most days because there was so much stuff everywhere. There were computers in the back of the room that looked like they had not been used in a long time because no one could find them due to being covered with more stuff. There were bulletin boards on the walls in the classroom that had the students work stapled on them. The students had done a project involving promoting a soda pop/energy drink type substance and they were to promote this item so that others would by it. I would say over half of the students promoted their drink according to how much gas it would make you expel. I am a believer of freedom of speech and self expression...but I think that the students needed boundaries on this assignment and were not given them. As a result, this type of expression was evident in a lot of their assignments that I observed. Children need to be guided and know where their boundaries lie, otherwise chaos ensues and the classroom environment suffers.Scarlett1 (talk) 21:54, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

I have not done my observations yet, but I have been inside of several very different classrooms. My favorite classroom would be a ninth grade earth science classroom that I have substituted in many times. When you walk in it is orderly, laid out nice, and has many different posters and planets hanging around. On her bulletin board she has science material on one side and school activity sheets on the other. It is very student friendly with extra sources for the students to use. The teacher is very energetic and organized which shows when you walk into her room. Other rooms are a little more bland or look like someones house instead of a classroom. The history classroom is so sad. No posters, no additional resources for the kids, not even an American flag! Can you believe that? The art classroom is pretty good. She has nothing but the children's artwork covering her walls. She creates a warm environment that makes you want to try to paint or draw. She is very encouraging and posters that she has reflects her personality. I guess overall most classroom environments are welcoming and set up to learn, but there are some that just make you feel like you are in jail. No wonder kids get bored.Hcomb003 (talk) 22:52, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

Before becoming an ODU student, I was in some classroom as a volunteer. One of the classrooms I worked in was a Kindergarten class in Newport News which always seem to be different from other classrooms. Besides the typical alphabets, numbers, shapes and other important concepts for children to know, there were many posters and pictures of a “positive learning environment”. These included things like being respectful, sharing toys and materials, and responsibility. The teacher also had many of the students’ drawings and projects on the walls, ceiling and outside the classroom. Recalling on my memory in elementary school, I do not remember if I really cared if my work was shown to the entire school or if I knew why teachers did it in the first place. However, now that I am older I actually see it as motivational and positive. Students who are shy may be hesitant to display their strengths, so by posting their work, it may motivate them to use their talents more often. Another thing that I have noticed with Kindergarten classrooms, and primary classroom in particular, is that they always have group tables instead of individual desks. It actually took me some time to realize that teachers were actually building children’s social skills. Although many more children go to preschool than when I went, I know that not every child actually goes to some type of daycare as an infant or toddler. Kindergarten is a very crucial stage because it begins the transition of learning through play to learning through books and activities.Adart001 (talk) 00:28, 3 August 2009 (UTC)