I Got A Blank Space, Baby: Not a Bare Wall In Sight!


Maddox Wade

Flying colors: After a year of virtual learning, Dubs are excited to be back in the classroom. Vibrant classrooms create a better environment for learning.

First impressions are important. Meeting your teachers at the start of the school year can be a nerve-racking and turbulent experience. One great indicator of the time to come with your new instructors is classroom decor: it can tell you a lot about the class environment and subconsciously shape the way you feel about a course. So how exactly do colorful posters and clever sayings on the wall sculpt how you learn and perceive instruction?

You feel your heart skip a beat as you finally reach the landing of the seventh floor. It’s your first day of school and you’re about to meet your French teacher, Robin Oliver. You’ve heard stories about him from your upperclassmen friends but nothing could prepare you for your arrival at his classroom for the first time. You almost feel dizzy as you enter, greeted by a kaleidoscope of colors and baroque decor. “Upon seeing the classroom, I immediately knew I was in for a fun year,” said sophomore Leola Hayal. “The lively nature of the room made me feel safe and welcome.”   

The first thing you spot is his hat collection, each one more wonderfully ridiculous than the last. As you continue your scan you find French puns, walls filled with vocabulary, and a colorful, dancing llama called Boppy. Instead of spending hours droning through textbooks and reading paragraphs of nonsense you will forget about as soon as you exit the classroom, Oliver has made the classroom itself his textbook. The walls teach. “I can’t stand blank walls, they make me feel like I’m in an insane asylum, color makes the students feel like you care,” said Oliver. 

Now it’s time for your next class, you brave the hoard of students pushing into the stairwell as you make your way across the seventh floor into the classroom of Caitlin Tripp. You are embraced with the subtle smell of vanilla as your eyes adjust to the low lighting of the room. Like sophomore Chloe Walker, you’ll find a sense of home in the atmosphere of the classroom. You settle onto the couch in the center of the room as you start to take in the perfect blend of curriculum and aesthetic-based decor. “Ms. Tripp’s classroom makes me feel at peace, I always know where I can go to take a load off and calm down from the day’s stress,” said Walker.

A healthy blend of educational and artistic adornment is all it takes to expand the mind and comfort of students. Feeling cozy in class can be just as important as understanding the curriculum when it comes to productivity.