What is considered the “perfect” classroom environment? When does student freedom become too much freedom? These are the questions answered when Lindenhurst High School teachers were asked to complete a survey about what they allow or do not allow in their classrooms. 10 teachers were polled, and their responses spoke louder than expected.
The teachers were all asked about introducing or allowing different items or ideas into their classrooms, or implementing them in the future. These items and ideas were the following: fidget toys, music, food, drinks, dimming lights, breaks during tests, gum, and doodling during class. Research has shown that allowing each of these in the classroom can help improve student focus and productivity.
Here is an overview of teacher responses:
1. Do you believe *ANY* of your students often struggle to focus or perform to the best of their ability in class?
2. Do you believe small fidget toys or trinkets can help students focus and perform better in class?
Only if they have a good reason for requesting: 30%
3. Do you believe music can help students focus and perform better in class?
4. Do you believe adjusting the lighting or setup of your classroom can help students focus and perform better in class?
5. Do you believe “doodling” can help students focus and perform better in class?
6. Do you believe allowing gum chewing could help students focus and perform better in class?
7. Do you believe allowing food and drink consumption can help your students focus and perform better in class?
8. Do you believe taking breaks during quizzes, tests, or exams can help students focus and perform better in class?
9. Any additional notes?
Allowing for student choice whenever possible is another way to get better results from students
I think longer class time would allow for students to use a lot of these supplemental techniques.
A lot my “maybe” responses are because I have experienced scenarios where these approaches hurt more than helped with student focus. But it really depends on the individual and what works.
10. After taking this survey, would you be willing to implement some of these focus strategies into your classroom?
Overall, teachers in Lindenhurst High School seem to be very open to opportunities to aid their students in their academic ability and mental health. By allowing some of these options, we may see an increase in grades, student focus, and even better mental health for students. Between all of these options, and our new Room 251, the school is doing a lot to help the students of Lindenhurst High School.