Classroom Environments at IHS

Ella Scobert And Marissa Bowser, Journalist

As seniors we have seen our fair share of classrooms and have had to take tests, write and study in all different environments. Because of the seniors’ past experience regarding education environments, there’s a common belief in what the “perfect” classroom would look like. Students are taking  into consideration how the seats are arranged, the class size, duration of the class, the temperature etc. We have our own opinions on these but we wanted to get opinions from our fellow classmates and our teachers as well as do some research. 

We sat down with Maya Williams, a senior at Ipswich High School and asked for her take on the optimal classroom environment. She said, “When teachers have a low lit classroom I feel less stressed and more relaxed while doing my work” Maya also let us in on what makes her comfortable with a teacher. Ms Williams suggests, “When they let us share our thoughts, get to know us and make class fun.” A common opinion we have found is that in order to feel comfortable in a classroom you have to feel supported by the teacher. Now as fun as decorating is, the way a classroom is decorated can also contribute to the environment. Hanging posters, having special seating, hanging up students’ work has helped Maya and other students feel more comfortable in a room. “If I was a teacher my room would have lamps, no overhead lights and cozy chairs.” Williams explained.

We also sat down with Mrs. Latimer, a science teacher at Ipswich High School. We chose to interview her because we both have had similar experiences in her classroom. We felt comfortable, productive and supported. When we asked Mrs. Latimer why she has a low lit classroom she responded, “I think that students appreciate a lower lit classroom” and we do. “What makes for a good classroom is infrastructure for the kids” Mrs Latimer likes to do labs and fun learning games to teach her students. The environment isn’t just physical, it’s how teachers teach and what we do in the classroom. When we can get up and learn hands on. If Mrs. Latimer were a student she said she would like a classroom with “Good seating” In these past few years IHS teachers have updated their classrooms with comfier seats, stools and even bean bags. These changes are very popular amongst students and the classrooms with good seats are envied by students. 

Upon our research we discovered that our opinions were also shared amongst many other students as well.  We found that “The fluorescent lighting used in most classrooms can lead to a host of difficulties for children (and adults), including migraines. By diffusing these harsh lights, and introducing more natural light into the classroom, we’re working with the body’s natural circadian rhythms to indicate to the brain that it’s time to be awake and alert.” This information was shared by Susan Fitzwell, a writer. It’s been noticed that many people seem to work better when the setting is more dim and students work more efficiently and stay focused. In classrooms that have fluorescent lights teachers have made solutions like putting colored drapes over the lights or they have lamps in certain areas of the class instead of using the regular ones to make the room more dark and easy on the eyes. Although the lighting of the classroom plays a big role in a calm environment, it also has to do with the way you approach your students, the tone you use with the students and the temperature in the classroom can also affect the way your students can work. The quality and color of lighting can either impair or enhance students’ skills and academic performance.