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Classroom environment

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Lucilla90, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. Lucilla90

    Lucilla90 Occasional commenter

    I have noticed a short thread about this in 2012, but thought I would mention it anyway. I have noticed that there seems to be a direct correlation between a messy classroom and poor behaviour (and vice versa).

    Recently, I have been in some amazingly organised classrooms, often NQT ones, which just sparkle with beautiful resources and the investment of time and effort. Great organisational ideas I’ve noted down for when I get a classroom again. The feeling of “Yes! I’m proud to be a teacher”.

    However, there are a small number of schools I have chosen not to return to, because I don’t want to be in the dreadfully messy surroundings. If I don’t want to be there, why should the children? Their attitude is almost certainly influenced by the surroundings.
  2. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Oooohhh Eeerrrr:eek:

    Well that's me stuffed then. I can't walk around with a pen, paper, books without randomly dropping them anywhere.

    Are you sure as supply that you're looking at a representative sample? I agree that the Covered Classroom is a tip but that's more down to the previous coverer than my messy nature.
  3. baxterbasics

    baxterbasics Senior commenter

    That is too simplistic. Cause and effect can work in both directions. For example, the kids at the school are very badly behaved, so they contribute the the mess and vandalism and the school in over-run with supply teachers, none of whom have responsibility for a classroom.

    I think that too many excuses are given for poor behaviour. In my parents' generation, all classrooms were dull, and I don't think that the concept of displays had even entered the lexicon. However, they generally sat and listened and did not disrupt every lesson, even when the teacher was getting them to do dictation. Nowadays, if kids mess around, it is invariably the teacher's fault for not "engaging" the pupils. For those who blame lack of engagement, I can also imagine the classroom environment being trotted out as a further excuse for poor behaviour.
    BetterNow, JohnJCazorla and Lucilla90 like this.
  4. Lucilla90

    Lucilla90 Occasional commenter

    In the 2012 thread, the point was also made that working with a difficult class can contribute to the teacher losing the will to put in the effort.

    I can see what you are saying @baxterbasics, it isn’t necessarily a one-way situation.
    BetterNow likes this.
  5. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    In the last 3 years I have worked in around 100 different primary schools and in possibly 200+ different primary classrooms. I have not noticed a link between messy classrooms and poor behaviour, or indeed tidy classrooms and good behaviour.
    Thinking further about this, I am certain that in my experience there is no link whatsoever.
  6. claudette_A

    claudette_A New commenter

    Good one Lucilla90, a worthwhile topic to bring back to discuss-get us debating!

    I agree with baxterbasics on this one. The hypothesis: Messy class room = poor behaviour is too simplistic you need more specifics. The environment(classroom) will contribute somewhat e.g. if all the stationery is here, there and everywhere then your students will find it very difficult to start work>waste time>mess around finding a pencil or equipment. You can't do maths because the rulers are missing will obviously lead to children messing around-these are givens.

    However the issue of poor behaviour is a lot more complicated than just the result of "messiness" or neat organisation. You just need to look at the "tomes" on behaviour management. I'm no psychologist but some possible factors that contribute to poor behaviour:

    > Pupils' PSHE(home/health/mental issues)
    > The regular teacher (weak/poor behaviour management strategies in place...)
    > The supply teacher (Ditto; as above, if regular teacher hasn't put strategies in place then us supply teacher's have a slim chance of holding the fort).
    > School's policies
    > Group dynamics or cohort
    > Subject engagement/interest/boredom
    > The environment
    > etc... (I'm sure others can add more, that was just from the top of my head)

    I agree though Lucilla90, if I don't have the resources it makes it kind of hard and ever so annoying for us supply teachers to do our job properly (do they expect us to magic resources from nowhere haha!). The moral of the story; as boy scouts say "always be prepared" or beg, borrow or steal resources from a different classroom. Just the essentials for what you are teaching and need as it avoids faffing the class around.

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