Classroom Design – Less is More

Walking in your classroom has to be, at the very minimum, possible. At best it should be easy. If you are tripping over desks to get to kids and/or unable to get from one side to the other, you aren’t doing it right. Organizing a classroom design to let you walk around unencumbered will yield results. Feng Shui and general aesthetic principles guide architects toward minimalism every day. Less in the room is more in that it yields creativity and relieves tension. Having open space in a class is becoming more and more challenging. With internet for classrooms taking up necessary computer space, we are hard-pressed to create that calming, freeing space we want. Still, the internet and other computer tools are doing much in education so we have to make a space for them.

Teachers are given a mix of school furniture each year and usually the items are minimal. However, one should consider how much extra clutter a room needs. Getting rid of the unneeded furniture in place of items that add to the learning environment can be an excellent decision. At the same time, moving something like a bookshelf can open worlds of wonder to a classroom. It is amazing how much I have seen change by changing the wall my bookshelf was on. This will of course vary teacher to teacher according to preference.

As we look to the future and consider the virtual classroom, the physical room environment should continue to be at the forefront. As hybrids continue to emerge, we may see that the classroom is not less important but more because kids are in it less. Since classroom time is the most important time in the learning day, we as teachers definitely need to be thinking about how less is more in classroom organization decisions.

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Damien Riley

Having been a public school teacher since 1997, I've gained valuable classroom experience. I believe the best tool for engaging students is a dynamite lesson plan. These posts are writings from my journey. Thanks for reading!

2 thoughts on “Classroom Design – Less is More”

  1. As a future educator, this post is really helpful. I agree with you, students need a classroom free of distraction and organized. I am a really unorganized person, what tips can you give me to become organized. I enjoyed your post!

  2. Thank you. I would say organizing the desks where I can get around freely is the most helpful to me. After that, as I said in the article, “less is more.” Some days I have to take stacks of things and go through them to keep my desk and countertops cleared. I actually have cabinet area set aside for clutter I will sort later. A minimal classroom opens the mind. Of course, that’s just my opinion. Good luck and let me know how your classroom works out this year.

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