Although I had a bumpy start in ironing out the details and logistics of my internship, I finally had the opportunity to start at St. Edmund’s this past week. To be completely honest, I was a bit nervous as this was one of my first appearances in an unfamiliar classroom. Because of switching my major late my sophomore year and then the whole pesky Covid thing, I didn’t have the opportunity to go into a classroom (that was not in my hometown) until this semester.
Thankfully, walking into my mentoring teacher’s classroom brought a sigh of relief. I immediately found myself feeling welcomed and comfortable mere moments after setting foot in her room. I realized this was largely due to her classroom design. Her choice of utilizing alternative seating and warm lighting creates a welcoming environment for anyone who enters her classroom. The walls are flooded with student work— creative writing, art, essays, and much more. The desks seat two students per table and are arranged at an angle that optimizes instruction and collaboration between students. Ultimately, the classroom design contributes to the overall learning process much more than some may realize. When students are physically comfortable in a classroom they may become mentally comfortable which can then lead to their increased participation in class, peer-collaboration, and/or overall positive work ethic. Students are comfortable in my mentoring teacher’s classroom—it’s evident in their participation. In my future classroom, I plan to utilize many strategies my advisor uses to create a learning environment for my students that is both comfortable yet mentally stimulating.