Is the real reason your student can’t focus what’s on the walls?

Consultation is a necessary but hard part of our job. It’s very hard when you realize the reason a student isn’t focusing is because of the classroom environment.

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So what do you do?

First, teach them!

When I give school wide presentations on focus I always include a discussion of the classroom environment. I ask teachers to take stock in how much of their wall space is covered.

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Second, share the research with them.

Not only do I do this is in presentations, but I also send a monthly e-mail to staff. I try to always include an interesting article, such as this one or this one.

Third, brainstorm how to fix it.

It’s important to have an inventory or some spacial awareness. I find these questions to be a helpful guide.

How much of their wall space is covered?

Can students easily move around the room?

Is there a calming space away from others?

Is there a better layout or configuration?

Does the layout make routines and procedures seamless or complicated?

What is the purpose of what is one the wall? Does it educate or is it a decoration? Is it inspiring or is it competitive? Is it culturally sensitive and inviting or not? Is it repetitive?

Is there a theme? (I personally get overwhelmed in rooms that have a little bit “superheros” a little bit “puppies” and then throw in some “beach.” Pick your passion and stick with it throughout.)

Does it need to be posted year round or can we put this in a digital format to share on a screen as needed?

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As the teacher answers the questions above you’ll get a sense of what needs to go, what needs to be stored, and what should stay.

In this new digital age this goes for those Bitmoji Google Classrooms!

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Does the image link?

Is it hard to read?

Is it familiar?

Is it cozy or cluttered?

What is the purpose?

Is this relatable to their school enviornment?

Do you have permission to use that image?

Can you use your picture and remove the background instead of your Bitmoji?

Are you doing this because it’s useful or you feel pressure from social media?

Happy decorating friends!

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