Cast your mind back to your own school days, do your memories include a classroom filled with colourful posters, decorations and school work? Excellent! A colourful classroom has been proven to attribute towards children’s learning skills and attitudes. So what should you be doing to help your young pupils in your new school abroad?
Pick your colours wisely - If you’re teaching primary school age, go WILD with colour. Young children thrive in brightly coloured environments.
For the older kids, greens and blues are where you should concentrate as these colours provide feelings of calm, relaxation, happiness and comfort. Something to bear in mind whilst decorating.
Here’s a few other colours which could prove useful too:
Red - Can encourage creativity and excitement
Yellow - Creates positivity and assists in maintaining attention
Blue - Creates a feeling of well being and tranquility
Orange - Increases alertness
Green/Purple - Brings a sense of calm
Brown - Provides a sense of security
Off white - Creates positivity and assists in maintaining attention
What decorations? Of course you’ll need to check the rules with your new school on arrival but start thinking about how you’d like to make the classroom inviting for the students!
Posters? Artwork? What about getting the students involved with painting a specific wall?
Is there a particular topic you’ll be discussing? A colourful wall display could help set the scene visually for your students, provide ideas and help for the new words they’ll be learning.
What about creating an English alphabet display? Seeing the letters up on the wall may help the pupils too.
Get crafty - Can you incorporate crafts and colour into your lesson plan? Children learn very well visually so think of something a little different to capture their attention.
Crafts can be done in a variety of ways including drawing, painting*, colouring, cutting and sticking etc… *Perhaps use paints to assist with teaching colour words.
Pay attention - See what the other TEFL teachers are doing in their classrooms too! TEFL teachers are a helpful bunch, you’re all in the same boat and helping each other out on location with tips and ideas is also a great way to make friends.
Top tips - To keep concentration at top level, here’s a few key points to note:
Don’t go too overboard on the decorating. It’s recommended that 20-50% of the available wall space should be kept clear
Avoid sticking anything up on windows - students need all that natural light!
Showcase the children’s work and achievements - it’ll transfer motivation and ownership onto future work and projects
Got some other ideas for your classroom? Why not share them with us over on our social media? https://www.facebook.com/TEFLUKwow/
Previously: The Best TEFL Resources