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Physical Environments are Important for a Good Beginning

By Lynne Dorfman

The organization of your classroom sets the stage for learning. It should reflect your personal beliefs and values as an educator.Debbie Miller says, “Classroom environments are organic – they grow as we do. The best of them reflect the hearts and souls of those who inhabit them. They’re never really finished. They’re never really ‘done’.”  Debbie devotes the first section of her book, Teaching with Intention: Defining Beliefs Aligning Practice, Taking Action, to setting up the physical classroom environment and creating an energizing culture through the kind of interactions we value and nurture with our students. She suggests inviting a trusted colleague or two into your classroom in early September and asking him or her to tell you what the classroom environment reveals about your own personal beliefs as an educator. Read more

Classroom Environment – The Emotional Side

By Janice Ewing

Along with the thinking and care that we give to setting up the physical environment of our classrooms, most teachers are concerned with establishing a safe and productive climate for learning as well. As a new school year begins, it seems like a natural time to reflect upon the emotional spaces that we’re striving to create and sustain. With that in mind, I turned to a few mentors for inspiration.

Donald Graves, in The Energy to Teach, says: “You, the teacher, are the most important condition in the room.” Read more