“20: Preparing the Classroom,” Teaching, No Greater Call: A Resource Guide for Gospel Teaching (1999), 76
“20,” Teaching, No Greater Call, 76
A comfortable and inviting environment for learning can contribute to learners’ self-discipline, willingness to concentrate on lessons, and receptiveness to the Spirit. Whether you are a classroom teacher or a parent preparing for family home evening, you should do all you can to improve the physical surroundings in which you teach.
Ensure that the area is clean. You may need to sweep, pick up papers, or erase the chalkboard. Also ensure that you are clean and modest in appearance.
If possible, make sure the room is not too hot or too cold. If you teach in a Church classroom, you may need to work with your leaders to make the temperature comfortable.
Ensure that the room has adequate lighting. Arrange the chairs so that the sun will not shine in anyone’s eyes.
Create warmth and interest by occasionally bringing something to improve the appearance of the room. For example, you could bring flowers or display pictures or objects that relate to the lesson.
Be sure you have all the lesson materials you need, such as chalk, an eraser, crayons, tape, or visual resources. If you are using any equipment, test it before you use it in a lesson. This will give you enough time to change your plans if the equipment is not working properly.
Arrange seating so that learners can see and hear you and each other. Try to make it possible for you to look each individual in the eye. Also ensure that the seating arrangement will allow everyone to see the chalkboard and other visual materials.
If possible, see that the chairs are comfortable. Children are more comfortable in chairs or benches that allow their feet to touch the floor. They may occasionally enjoy sitting on the floor. Chairs for adults and youth should be an appropriate size and should be arranged for easy access, with enough legroom.
When necessary, designate seating in a way that will separate children who disturb each other. Consider writing the children’s names on pieces of paper and placing the pieces of paper on the backs of the chairs or on the floor in front of the chairs before class begins.
If more than one class must meet in the same room, arrange chairs so that the classes face away from each other on opposite ends of the room. If dividers are available, use them.
Allow adequate space for the activities you plan. For example, if you are planning a dramatization, make sure there is enough room for the participants to stand and move about. For such activities in your home, you may need to rearrange furniture.
As the teacher, you are responsible for the physical surroundings of the area in which you teach. But you do not need to make all the preparations yourself. Allow those you teach to participate in improving the learning environment. You may want to give them specific responsibilities, either regularly or occasionally.