Classroom Management

Classroom layout
The layout of your classroom can have a serious impact on the way you teach and the way your students learn. This article looks at some of the basic points that you can consider regarding the way you arrange your classroom.
 The importance of layout
Some considerations
Classroom layouts
The importance of layout
When you're planning your lessons do you ever think about the layout of the classroom? Sometimes it may be impossible and impractical to move the furniture around at all for many reasons including the fact that in some schools the tables are bolted to the floor! However, even if the furniture is immobile, remember that your students aren't, so you can think about how you want to group students and how you can use the space you have to your advantage. This may involve using spaces at the front, or down the side of the classrooms, letting students stand up or to sit on the tables to do certain activities.
Some considerations
In an ideal world the classroom furniture would be light and mobile so you could come in and quickly rearrange it to your liking. Unfortunately, in the real world it is often heavy and the rooms themselves are too small to make too many changes. Having said that I do think it's worth thinking about the classroom layout and doing what you can to make it as appropriate as possible to your lesson. Here are some questions to consider:
  * Can I see the faces of every single student and can they see me?
  * Can everyone see the board (if you're planning on using it)?
  * Can the students see one another?
  * Can I move around the room so that I can monitor effectively?
For me, the first question is really important. I substitute a lot of classes, so I don't necessarily know all the students' names so it's vital to be able to see them all. Although it can seem like an extra effort and a waste of time I find that spending the first two minutes of a class moving the furniture so that I can see every...