Starting a New School Year? Here’s How To Welcome Your Students
As the new school year begins, most students look forward to joining their new class. Students are usually a little nervous, so it’s important to create a welcoming environment. Many commercial products on the market can help; but you’ll need to consider many aspects of the classroom environment before spending precious dollars on these products. The setup and layout of the classroom will determine the ease with which the children can move around the classroom. And it’s important to consider your approach to teaching while you arrange the classroom. Here are tips to consider when deciding the classroom layout:
- Teacher’s desk. In the traditional setting, this is one item that is generally kept in the far corner of the room or toward one wall to avoid positioning it in the middle of high traffic. On the other hand, if your approach to instruction is likely to be more flexible and interactive, you might want to have your desk closer to the students’ tables and chairs.
- Students’ desks. The layout of students’ desks depends on the kind of interaction that you want with students. Perhaps you’ll frequently rearrange the desks, depending on the kind of lesson you’re planning, provided the desks are not bolted to the floor. Here are some layout options for you to consider:
- Students face the front of the room: This option is best for sessions that involve direct instruction.
- Students face the center of the room: This layout creates a friendly environment and is best for interaction and debate.
- Students grouped in clusters: This is ideal for student group work or collaborative projects.
- Overhead projector or multimedia projector screen. The screen should be at a height and angle that allow everyone to see the screen easily. Make sure you sit in seats in various parts of the room to determine if you can view the screen comfortably from all positions.
- Classroom supplies. Items that are frequently used need to be handy and kept closer to the students. Items used less often can be stored in a cabinet. The pencil sharpener and trash should be positioned slightly away from the students to avoid distraction.
- Notice board. Decorate the board to liven up the classroom, as well as to communicate with students about important events during the academic year. Consider these suggestions:
- Make the board colorful with students’ project work.
- Put up a “quote of the day” that is relevant, inspirational, and motivating. You may also make this a revolving duty of the students.
- Allow students to put up pictures of places they visited on a holiday.
- Educate your students about something pertaining to their curriculum by pinning up newspaper or magazine editorials.
- Use another bulletin board for important school information, like the academic calendar, fire-drill instructions, classroom rules, and so on.
Follow these guidelines, and you can be sure that the new academic year will start with a bang!