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Mr. Shore’s Classroom Edit display name

  • Craftsbury Academy
  • Craftsbury Cm, VT
  • More than half of students from low‑income households

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The classroom I now teach in had been left blank all year. In October, the school's social studies teacher had to leave early on medical leave, leaving a revolving door of substitute teachers, and consequently, a classroom that never developed its own personality. It was nothing more than a florescent-lit box with desks scattered about. So when I entered the classroom in January, I immediately redesigned the space: I put up christmas lights and string lights, put down rugs and brought in comfy chairs and a sofa. The students' reactions to the new space was clear: they felt calm and safe in my classroom; students who had kept quiet began speaking up more; and classmates became more social with one other. Needless to say, as numerous studies on the subject has shown, physical space has an enormous impact on boosting moods, concentration, and creativity. With these additional maps, plus an auditory signal to keep quiet, the classroom space would not only become more of sanctuary for students, but it would help reinforce a culture for learning. I often point to maps when I speak, and students find it extremely helpful to visualize the playing field of history and humanity through maps. Thus, having more maps means more resources for students to deepen and reinforce their knowledge about the past and current events. The bell would very much help keep students on task. My students are incredibly bright and engaged, and can often get carried away in their own conversations. The bell would serve as an easy and more efficient reminder to bring our focus back to one speaker. And the pencil sharpener is necessary simply because students need to sharpen their pencils!

About my class

The classroom I now teach in had been left blank all year. In October, the school's social studies teacher had to leave early on medical leave, leaving a revolving door of substitute teachers, and consequently, a classroom that never developed its own personality. It was nothing more than a florescent-lit box with desks scattered about. So when I entered the classroom in January, I immediately redesigned the space: I put up christmas lights and string lights, put down rugs and brought in comfy chairs and a sofa. The students' reactions to the new space was clear: they felt calm and safe in my classroom; students who had kept quiet began speaking up more; and classmates became more social with one other. Needless to say, as numerous studies on the subject has shown, physical space has an enormous impact on boosting moods, concentration, and creativity. With these additional maps, plus an auditory signal to keep quiet, the classroom space would not only become more of sanctuary for students, but it would help reinforce a culture for learning. I often point to maps when I speak, and students find it extremely helpful to visualize the playing field of history and humanity through maps. Thus, having more maps means more resources for students to deepen and reinforce their knowledge about the past and current events. The bell would very much help keep students on task. My students are incredibly bright and engaged, and can often get carried away in their own conversations. The bell would serve as an easy and more efficient reminder to bring our focus back to one speaker. And the pencil sharpener is necessary simply because students need to sharpen their pencils!

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