For as many hours as teachers and students spend in classrooms, it helps to be in an atmosphere that allows for the most creative learning environment. These helpful tips are sure to help you get the most out of the space that you have, as well as create a fun and organized classroom.
Feng Shui for Kindergarten Classrooms
- Display books. Lots of books create an inviting air and put education on the mind of students at a young age. As opposed to putting books away in shelves, stagger books and display them so the covers are facing outwards, enticing children to take a look.
- Group bright colors. Grouping bright colors creates a fun vibe for young students and encourages creativity.
- Create reading centers. This allows students to peruse books and converse in small groups, building communication skills.
Feng Shui for All Classrooms
- Utilize the bagua map This is one of the key elements of feng shui decor. The bagua map tells you what areas of the room need harmony and balance, giving you a direction for what areas to work on.
- Pay attention to the elements. It is important you pay attention to the five elements (water, wood, metal, earth and fire) when organizing your classroom and placing furniture. Dictation of where these elements belong will be in the bagua map.
- Place desks in an octagon shape. According to the baqua this promotes harmony in the classroom. You will likely need to leave an open space so you are able to access students and serve as the focal point of the room, so organize desks as an octagon with the “bottom” missing.
- Work with what you have. You may not have the space to organize desks in an octagon shape. Rows are suitable and should all face one way, preferably towards the doorway.
- Utilize other elements of feng shui. If you are not able to meet feng shui requirements with the furniture arrangement of your desks, you will still be able to utilize the other fundamentals of feng shui to promote harmony in the space.
- Make comfort a priority. If you or your students are uncomfortable, it will create distress. Always place the comfort of the people who will work in the space before any feng shui rules. This itself is also a rule of feng shui.
- Incorporate water. Feng shui says the flow of water promotes knowledge. Bring in a small aquarium or even a gold fish in a small bowl to bring a serene feeling to your classroom.
- Alignment is key. Everything in the room should flow. Desks should all face one direction and avoid any large objects that block off areas or cause an obstruction for students.
- Students should be able to move freely. The classroom is useless if you or your students can’t get around easily. Make sure the room flows in a manner that makes everything accessible from the pencil sharpener to shared computer stations.
- Go green. Green is a strong color in feng shui and stands for growth and peace. This is the exact environment most teachers strive for in their classrooms, so use green for steady decor in the space that won’t be changed for seasons or holidays.
- Balance your use of the five elements. For proper balance and structure, all five elements should be equally represented. There’s a good chance the elements that are already in your classroom are wood and metal, so try to add water, fire and earth through materials or colors.
- Let your eyes guide you. To create balance, the room should flow. Nothing should serve as a focal point, but rather move in one harmonious direction that continues. Stand at the doorway of your room and see the areas that catch your eye. Now try to clear these areas so when you walk in the classroom, no one thing grabs your attention, but rather the cohesiveness of the room envelopes you.
- Cut back on fluorescent lights. Limit the time students are working in this one light by placing activity or reading centers near the windows with natural light or taking these tasks outside under the trees.
- Teach nature. Even if it’s only briefly discussing the colors of the fall leaves, reminding students of nature will encourage their relationship with the planet. Whether you bring in actual plants or simply post pictures of them in the classroom, it is a constant reminder of nature which contributes to a calm atmosphere.
- Avoid sharp corners. This can be difficult for teachers, but do your best to avoid sharp corners in the classroom which are seen as a contributor of negative energy in feng shui.
- Avoid asymmetry. Whether it’s on a bulletin board or with the desks, everything should be in even proportion with no distracting items hanging out on their own.
- Avoid red. Redis a color known to drastically increase aggression. Students spend a lot of time in the classroom, so while this may seem like a small thing, in the world of feng shui, it isn’t healthy for anyone (including yourself) to be exposed to the intense color for long periods of time on a daily basis.
- Play relaxing music during individual study time. If students have time where they write in a journal or conduct silent reading, take an opportunity to play music. This calms students down, allowing them to fully project themselves into their studies. Classical music is a common choice, but relaxing New Age music is also a smart pick.
- Bring in nature. Incorporate organic elements such as a class pet, plants or flowers to bring nature indoors. This helps students appreciate nature and its beauty and is helpful for students who live in the city and may not have a strong connection with the earth.
- Face your desk towards the door. This allows you to see everything that’s coming in and going out of your classroom. It also puts you in a place of power according to feng shui.
- Get rid of clutter. This is a crucial element in feng shui, as a clear space promotes a clear mind for students to learn successfully. Organize using plastic boxes and keeping classroom excess to a minimum. If it isn’t being used, keep it out of sight to avoid items piling up.
- Avoid “dark spots.” For classrooms with little natural light or windows, be sure bulbs are always well-lit to create a bright area for students. Dark spots are known to be weigh down the mood in a room according to feng shui.
- Add the color blue. Blue is known to create a calming effect and in feng shui is known to promote learning and aptitude. Increase your students’ drive by adding this color in areas that they will see every day.
- Paint walls. If your administrator will allow you to paint walls of the classroom blue and green, gather some friends and go for it. For those with more rules to follow, take large pieces of bulletin board paper and cover portions of the wall above and below the chalkboard to mimic painted walls.
- Don’t overdo it with displays. Feng shui wants little to no clutter and that includes the wall. There’s no reason to put up every assignment or art students work on. Instead, select areas where work can be hung and keep it in a neat manner to avoid clutter on the walls.
- Close off open window space. If there’s a window on the door that faces outside distractions, cover it with bulletin board paper. Only window space that allows natural light should be exposed.
- Bring in crystals. For rooms that are closed off from all natural light, crystals can bring in a natural source of positive energy much like natural sunlight or plants according to feng shui.
- Place bookshelves accordingly. In feng shui, bookshelves should be placed in the far left corner of the room when facing into the room from the door. This is said to promote critical thinking and intellectual aptitude.
- Keep entry ways clear. Just as you want a harmonious flow of chi in the classroom, you’ll allow the chi in by keeping entry ways free of clutter and obtrusive items like extra chairs or a trash can.
- Bring in lamps. To help limit fluorescent lighting, consider bringing in lamps or working with the lights off if you have a heavily sunlit classroom.
- Bring in wind chimes. For classrooms with no air conditioning and windows, consider a wind chime. Open a window on a soft breezy day and see how the soothing sound effects students motivation and calm demeanor.
- Plug it in. Add some aromatherapy to the classroom with a plug-in oil dispenser in a scent like lavender, which is know to soothe.
- Bring in bamboo. Bamboo is an easy way to bring in an element of nature without having to tend to a plant daily or risk it dying. Bamboo can be purchased at most grocery stores or flower shops and grows on its own in a vase of water with little attention.
- Open your classroom. If you are lucky enough to have windows in your classroom, do not be afraid to open them for a small period through the day. Opening the windows for a mere 10 minutes can bring new air in the room and revive students compared to the stale indoor air that circulates throughout the day.
- Energize students. The colors orange and yellow are known to energize. Bring these colors out to rev students up for a test or sports event at school.
- Implement pastel shades. This is especially helpful for English or writing teachers of older students. Pastel shades can promote creativity and often have an association with childhood.
- Create excitement. For display areas or reading centers, there should be a sense of excitement surrounding these spaces to encourage students to want their work displayed or gain time in the learning center.
- Display art work. Bringing in art work besides the students can enhance the creative energy of the space and get students thinking about their own creative abilities. The art work can sit on a constant bulletin board, which should follow the symmetrical guidelines of feng shui.
- Let everyone participate. When arranging furniture and learning centers, all students should be visible to you at all times. This promotes teacher and student interaction and ensures students feel comfortable to approach you when needed.
- Keep students aware. Don’t underestimate your students. For those working with children in the 4th grade or older, be sure to share the feng shui tips you’re implementing and how they will improve the energy of the classroom.
- Bring in water with a table top fountain. For those who aren’t sure they can handle an aquarium or gold fish in the classroom, bring in water with a small fountain. This can sit on the teacher’s desk or elsewhere in the classroom, but should be visible to all students from their seats.
- Create your own nature. For a classroom with no windows, look to the example of middle school teacher Nic Taylor who turned a 4X6 space into a “window” by placing a poster flanked by softly lit lamps to give his students a sense of the great outdoors.
These colors work together to create a harmonious atmosphere for students.
- Green works in harmony with black, blue and red.
- Red is in harmony with beige, tan, yellow and green.
- White works with blue and tan.
- Blue works in harmony with black, green and white.
- Yellow and tan sit in harmony with white and red.
Implementing these simple feng shui tips will create a calm learning environment for students to ensure they are working without distractions that could potentially be caused by an unsightly or distracting space.