The author of this content shares their experience as a math teacher and their views on the importance of classroom appearance. The author’s principal was focused on making the school beautiful by having word walls, student work displays, and other decorative elements. The author, however, believed that these things were a waste of time and that what mattered most was having basic supplies like printer paper and markers for teaching math.
After conducting research, the author discovered that when teachers had their requests for classroom resources fulfilled, their students performed better on standardized tests. The small supplies still matter, but creating a welcoming and positive environment in the classroom was also important.
The author urges readers not to underestimate the importance of classroom appearances in learning. They suggest supporting principals and teachers in creating their ideal learning environment by volunteering to beautify the school or donating to fulfill teachers’ wish lists.
The author, Samantha Keppler, is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and was formerly a public school math teacher in New York City. The content was previously published on Character Lab.
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