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Classroom Environment: Proper Lighting, Temperature & Acoustics

Classroom Environment: Proper Lighting, Temperature & Acoustics

Creating the ideal classroom environment depends on so many different factors. Of course the class dynamics and the teacher have a huge impact on the vibe inside of the room. But, no matter who is in the room, there are so many ways to make the experience better for students. By paying close attention to the environment we have, and doing the best we can with acoustics, lighting and temperature, we can dramatically improve the experience and performance of our students.

What is the best type of classroom lighting?

Are you tired of students complaining about the glare on the whiteboard? Have you ever had the unfortunate experience of trying to focus on a lesson as a fluorescent light constantly blinks or changes in brightness? Whether you have experienced these phenomena or not, you can probably understand how detrimental each of these scenarios is to learning. And that is why you need to make deliberate decisions about the lighting in your learning space. If fluorescent lights aren’t working for you, see if you have the budget to make some changes. If not, you don’t always have to leave on all the lights in the classroom. Letting some natural light filter in from the windows can be great for students. If you have plenty of natural light coming in, you might even be able to turn off part of the artificial lighting in the room. This can be especially helpful when you are using a whiteboard and you want to reduce glare. Turning off the lights directly next to the board often solves the problem of glare.

Getting exposure to sunlight is great for everyone. Sunlight is healthy, and it tends to lift the mood in any situation. So why should a classroom be any different? But as you are opening the curtains to let the light in, you still need to watch out for that pesky glare. If the sun is shining directly on the board, it can also cause a glare. So if you want to let the light in, make sure you also have heavy curtains which can block out the sunlight when you need to. This doesn’t just apply to the light on the board. You also need to be able to block out the sun when you are showing a movie or clip. So whatever lighting you choose, you want to have as much flexibility as possible, and the ability to turn off or shut out lights in different areas of the room as needed.

How does classroom temperature influence students?

Pupils are just like any other people. If they feel too hot or too cold, they are likely to be distracted by these feelings. There are so many distractions in the classroom, and since temperature is one that educators can control, they should do what they can to keep students comfortable. One way to do this is to keep the classroom at a consistent temperature throughout the year. This allows students to plan accordingly. Since everyone has their own ideal temperature, there is no way to keep everyone happy with one temperature. However, by giving students clear expectations of what the temperature will be, they can plan accordingly. It’s better to keep the classroom a bit colder, rather than hotter, because students can always bring sweatshirts if necessary. As long as there are no major surprises along the way, temperature doesn’t have to be a constant distraction to your students.

What can I do to get better classroom acoustics?

Few things are more detrimental to teaching than terrible classroom acoustics. If you have ever taught in a space with bad acoustics, you know how disruptive it is to have just one student talking or rustling around when you are talking. One thing to think about is noise coming from outside. If you can hear what is going on in the hall or outside the window, it doesn’t matter if your students themselves are silent, they will be distracted. So, the first thing you can do to improve acoustics is make sure you have proper windows and doors. Carpeting is another things that can make a big difference. It minimizes noise when students move their chairs around and also absorbs sound.

Every student deserves to learn in the best classroom environment, and temperature, lighting and acoustics are key ingredients to creating that environment. The more you put into maximizing these elements, the more your students will get out of your lessons.

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