Happy New Year dear TLC Readers – Join us in the Save-a-Classroom® Project

One of my passions is beautifying classrooms. A beautiful classroom tells a thousand stories. It builds dreams, it adorns the future in colors of possibilities, and brings the entire world into one room. Most importantly,  it incites a deeper love for lifelong learning. There! That is how powerful a beautiful classroom is!

True! Every classroom should be beautiful. Whether your school is in an old Victorian mansion or along a hidden community market or in the living room of a home, the environment should create a simple harmony. Uncluttered and well-maintained, the environment should reflect peace and tranquility. The environment should invite the learner to come in and explore. This atmosphere is easily seen in the attitude of those working there, both the child and adult…an atmosphere of inspiration.

Sadly, in many of our schools, more can be done and help is needed. Just recently, the Nov/Dec WAEC results were released and under 30% of the students passed with 5 credits including Math and English Language. It is rather unsettling that this is the case.

There is a direct relationship between the way a classroom looks and the grades that come out of it. There are many educators who understand the impact a beautiful classroom has on a child’s school work and life. 
The traditional notion of a classroom is any space where one learns something or gains experience. In gaining experience, or taking a child from a place of wonder to possibilities, it is of great importance to present all of the possibilities in visual forms.

Here are some important facts to note. Research has shown that;
• An instructor or teacher generally says 100-200 words in a minute and a student only hears 50-100….half!
• Students retain about 70% of what they hear in the first 10 minutes of class and 20% during the last 10 minutes.
• In a typical class lecture,  students are attentive to just 40% of the time.
• Adding visual aids increases retention from 14% to 38%.

When we speak about visual aids, we mean any and every thing a learner sees and touches that should be connected to the learning process within the classroom. When we speak about auditory and kinesthetic aids, we mean anything a child hears and feels or does in terms of movement within the classroom.

A very big part of the task of beautifying a classroom rests on the visual displays around it. Usually, it is expected that all teaching aids needed during classes will make up 90% of it for usefulness. The aim is to help learners use and familiarize themselves with the sort of language and ability needed to learn something or anything; and open their awareness to multiple ways of applying them.

A disorganized, unkempt, or clutter-filled classroom sends the message to your students that poor behavior and middling work habits is acceptable—regardless of how often or how forcefully you say otherwise. An attractive classroom draws students in and makes them want to be part of what is going on inside.
Every classroom environment has such a strong bearing on how learners perceive themselves and the expectations the society has for them.

Another part of beautifying the classroom is in the comfort and convenience of the learning environment. 
There are far too many kids learning in poorly ventilated classrooms, using under-equipped laboratories, working under leaking roofs, using near empty or nonexistent libraries, broken blackboards, rough flooring etc….and the list goes on. 
We could go on about what the government needs to do to help save our children’s education OR we could play a part by giving back to our immediate communities. 

The Save-a-Classroom® project is a call for everyone to help increase the number of literate and hopeful young Nigerians by supporting some children around you through their classrooms. How about actively joining to support your old school associations to redecorate classrooms, donate furniture and provide teaching aids for teachers. We can do it! 
What about gathering a forum targeted at building better classrooms while providing school administrators many options to aid their sustainability? These sort of activities are bound to keep many hopes and dreams alive!

As more children learn in comfortable classrooms, we know that there will be an increased level of literacy and a broader sense of responsibility among young Nigerians. When students have an exciting place to call their learning home, they always return….and guess what…the number of school dropouts will potentially reduce.

Save a classroom, inspire a child! Let’s kick off the year to a great start. 


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