The video introduces a creative middle school English classroom setup proposed by a teacher from Hello Middle School. It is clear from the video that the teacher is rather excited about starting a new school year and wants to create an interesting space for the children to learn in. She took time and effort of decorating it in a way that would both fit her expectations of what a middle school classroom should be and inspire her students. The teacher states that she used Pinterest to look for ideas, and when she found one that caught her attention, she even developed it into something that would represent her students. She also provided various selections of books and even a dishwasher rack for storing the students’ Kindles. The organization system she developed is rather well-thought and usable for any other classroom setups. For example, at 12 minutes of the video, she introduces a classroom agreements board where all class rules are written in clear and concise statements (Hello Middle School 2018). All in all, the video shows a dedicated teacher who wants to improve the learning environment by giving it features that would help her students best.
The main thing I have learned from the video is that a teacher needs to hold their students’ needs in mind first and foremost when creating a learning space. Decorating a middle school classroom is more of a challenge these days than it was before. Today’s middle schoolers are more developed, so the same class setups can become boring and unstimulating for them rather quickly. The teacher’s main objective is to create a relaxed, fun, and healthy atmosphere with the help of decoration so that teenagers will not feel like little children. Moreover, it is helpful to organize the teacher’s files properly so that they can be done more efficiently, allowing the teacher to focus more on actual teaching rather than searching for the right paper or note.
I think that having a whiteboard near the classroom door is a good idea for a middle school class. Every day, both the teacher and the students can write new ideas and proposals on it. The teacher can also hang a box next to the board and allow students to submit their ideas there for consideration. An exercise like this encourages teenagers to think and express their thoughts or, with a little searching, find other good ideas.
In middle school, students themselves can be involved in class design. Children can make original crafts, draw stands, posters or blow up balloons for the themes that interest them the most. It can also prove useful to have them design presentations on the topics they are passionate about to encourage them to speak about their interests. Middle schoolers often have very specific opinions on some themes that can reveal a lot about their characters. The teacher needs to offer the students not only a place to learn but to speak their minds on the themes they study freely without the fear of being shamed.
Finally, the teacher can also select a section of the classroom and decorate it with the characters from the study material which is especially good for teaching English. The people whose photographs or works would be posted there should be prominent figures from past and present, that the students can look up to. For example, the teacher can put photos of inventors, presidents, writers, and poets that appear in the study material. New facts and anecdotes should be added every week to provide more depth to the study. Moreover, children can, too, look for interesting stories about their favorite characters and present them to the class.
Hello Middle School. (2018). Classroom Setup Part 1 | Middle School English Classroom. YouTube.