Hey teachers, this one is for you! I wanted to post three ideas to bring the tranquility of your summer break back with you into your classroom. Since this is my very first post about how to feng shui your classroom, I would like to start with a disclaimer about what feng shui is NOT. This has helped put my mind at ease when applying feng shui principles to enhance the classroom atmosphere:
Feng shui is not a religion, nor does it preach any religious tenet. It predates Taoism, Confucianism, and even Buddhism. The first Amendment Center, which works to preserve and protect First Amendment freedoms through information and education, has approved the organizational tips embodied by feng shui. Feng shui does not infringe upon anyone’s freedom of religion. (Heiss, 2004)
I found this point extremely important to mention so that you and I both can be at peace knowing that any and all of the feng shui tips provided are always in the best interest of our students’ well-being, and it is not a religion, so you will not be impeding on anyone’s beliefs.
“Research supports feng shui. If the environment is balanced students will learn easier.” (Heiss, 2004)
So, what IS feng shui? According to Feng Shui for the Classroom 101 Easy-to-Use ideas, “Feng shui teaches a method of organization and appreciation for harmony. It helps people to become balanced in their environment and within themselves.” Since we are just getting started, allow me to share three easy ways to incorporate feng shui into your classroom next year!
#1 Bring in fresh energy with plants
Your classroom will probably be fresh and ready to go on the first day of school. However, as the year progresses the air can get stale. Bamboo survives very well in low light, but if you have another plant preference that would work too. Adding plants will bring in fresh oxygen and keep you and your students feeling fresh all year. I love giving students who need a little extra attention the job of watering the plant. It gets them moving with purpose and gives them a sense of responsibility.
#2 Add Yin energy with music, low lighting, and aromatherapy
Our classrooms already have a lot of yang, or active energy, by nature. The bright florescent lights, electronics, and the energy of many children in a contained space all contribute to the yang energy. So, it is important to balance the environment by adding softer energy to the space. If you do this, you will find the students will concentrate better and be more receptive during instruction. Here are ways to add yin energy:
- Play classical or other relaxing music as students work
- Turn off the lights during instruction time on the SMART board, and turn them back on when it is time for the students to work.
- Use lavender Sage Spray or other relaxing aromas to clear the energy of the room and give a more peaceful atmosphere.
#3 Try feng shui in your own home.
It has been my experience that using feng shui at my home has really helped me find more balance in my life. A happier, more centered teacher makes for happier students! I promise you if you start applying feng shui to your home, even just your bedroom, you will see a transfer from your personal to your professional life.
Well, that’s it for now my teacher friends! I will be posting more tips throughout the summer on Twitter at #fengshuiclassroom. As always, I welcome you to “like” my Facebook Page or find me at www.KristinaHollinger.com.
Until next time,