Although in many cases, it probably should not, appearance means a lot. As the saying goes, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” However, the cover does make the first impression.
For this reason, I think that the appearance of a classroom is very important. This is not to say that my classroom always has a wonderful appearance. Things can become scattered throughout the day and books and such are out of place. However, I do try to give it an upbeat and positive mood.
When a parent or student walks into your classroom for the first time, the room’s appearance is going to be their first impression of the class and your teaching.
Most teachers want a classroom that is inviting. You want your new students and parents to feel welcomed. The set-up and atmosphere of your room should encourage the type of teaching and learning that you want to take place. For example, straight-ridged rows are not going to encourage small group cooperative learning.
You want all student materials to be accessible to the students. Things should be labeled for easy return. This shows that it is important to you for things to have a place in which items are to belong.
While many teachers have more materials than storage areas, it is important for your items not to appear stacked up or cluttered. When items are stacked you are likely not to use them because they are hard to access. Therefore, you may want to consider cleaning out the things that get left unused. Store things that are not used as often behind cabinets or drawers. Items that are used daily can be left out in tubs or baskets for easy access.
The next time that you walk into your classroom, walk into it as a visitor or as a parent. See if you are relaying the type of message that you want relayed by your classroom.