Things That Make Me Happy

Settings, Classrooms, Variety and Representation

You know what makes me happy?

Different settings for different types of nurseries and schools!

Why should they all be the same?

Why should they all follow the same set standard?

I love walking into a new setting and see how they have used their space, if they are all organised and have set walls for set topics or if they are more laissez faire and let the children decorate the walls.

I think it reflects how the practitioner holds their class, their values and how they see learning for the child.

Is it structured? Creative? Looking fresh for a surprise inspection from OFSTED?

Obviously how they decorate and facilitate the setting does have a great deal to do with what sort of setting it is… Montessori? Steiner? CofE?

Although an enabling environment is seen as the best and most respected way of stimulating a child – how in fact can we create this fantastic and incredible space that children will just want to learn in and appreciate?

You know what I found when I typed into Google ‘perfect classroom’?

This had me in hysterics! Apparently the perfect classroom is back in the 1960’s where everyone looked miserable and were probably scared to death that they may be sent to the Headmasters for the slipper…

All settings have different view points on what a setting should look like and what a child should get from it and yet when searching on google there are so many questions, queries and comments on what is considered as the ‘perfect classroom’!

Your classroom reflects you and your practice and so I don’t think you should ask for what it should look like, instead we should think about what it may include – yet still remember this is flexible and it will change

So again I ask myself what is considered the best environment to learn in?

  • Resources – for everyone, of all interests, available all the time
  • Colour – less of the 1960’s black and white please and lots of colour as this creates positivity
  • Homely – somewhere to feel comfortable and relax in, home like, places for their own coats and bags that belong to them
  • Areas for respite – home corner, reading corner – with comfy chairs or cushions

  • Positive atmosphere – think High Scope – less of the ‘NO!’ more of the ‘Let’s see what we can do’
  • Accessible – drawers with pictures as well as labels,
  • Outdoor area – ideal for free flow activities, different textures, plants, smells, sounds, water, sand
  • Positive relationships – with the practitioners, other staff members and children
  • Challenging – yet safe
  • Emotional environment that is supportive, patient and focused
  • Foster an active learning environment with visual recognition
  • Flexibility
  • Mixture of child initiated and adult led activities
  • Observation and assessment of schemas to best encourage and develop their understandings using their interests

    In general the perfect setting, the perfect classroom and the perfect teacher will be you. No matter what Mrs Nextdoors classroom will represent, it will not represent your teaching or your beliefs. The values that you put forth through the hidden curriculum (Illich, 1973) will be your own and how you decide to treat your four walls is up to you; besides you would not be where you are now if you did not know how to enable childrens learning….

    and for me as a student….

    I cannot wait to have my own classroom and decide how I want it to be a representation of me and how I teach…

    But for now, I am enjoying the ride and enjoying the fascinating takes on different settings


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