ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Teachers' Wish Lists for the Physical Classroom Environment

As we were planning our focus on school environments for June and July, I came across an article in one of my favorite leisure magazines that got me thinking about the effect of the physical school environment on teachers. The article was an interview with a hiking and climbing guide in Utah and the question was simply "Best rescue?" The response has left a significant mark on my thinking.

The hiking guide described the rescue of a man and woman after 36 hours lost in the desert. They were dying. As the guide slowly nursed them back to life, the woman, a teacher, talked about how much it had meant to her to have a window in her classroom and how she'd thought a lot about that while she was dying.


Teachers, if you were granted one wish to change your physical teaching environment for the upcoming school year, what would it be? How might that change affect your teaching and quality of life?

Comments (13)


June 29, 2011

Windows so there could be some natural light.


June 29, 2011

A large, double sink with long and low counter tops next to it for lots of messy science explorations!

Kyle Simon

June 29, 2011

My (science) classroom has wooden cabinetry along two sides.  While it provides great storage space, I would prefer to change space to something more dynamic.

My simple wish for change prior to the upcoming school year is to change the cabinet faces into a whiteboard- or chalkboard-type surface.  This change will allow students to draft and brainstorm; to dress the walls they way they want; to own the space.


June 29, 2011

I have no windows at all in my room.  I’d love to watch it rain, and see the birds & squirrels & sun light!

*secondary requests
more space
non-florescent lights
non-white walls
coffee shop/book store feel


June 29, 2011

Fresh paint on the walls in a pleasant color. We have institutional brownish-yellow that is very dingy. Every time I take a look around my room, I end up wrinkling my nose in disgust! I would give anything to be able to paint my room!

Dori Moore

June 29, 2011

More space….

Angela Serafine-Timm

June 29, 2011



June 29, 2011

Clean, clean, clean - I’d like my carpet, sink, vents, floor, all the nooks and crannies to be really clean.  That would make a huge difference for me-and I’m sure the health of us all!(I also have institutional walls, used to be dividing walls for the old “open classrooms.” Some are bulletin boards (that need power staples), some are brown chalkboards.  Most of us cover the awful yellow with colored paper.)


June 29, 2011

Windows.  It can’t be good for all of us to be holed away in a box without windows. Seems like a common theme.  Our district claims it’s to save on a/c.  The skeptic in me says it’s to save on windows.


June 29, 2011

Large work tables rather than individual desks.  I like for the kids to feel that anywhere in the room is a workspace for them.

Michelle Gill

June 29, 2011

I love, love, love my school but I would also love to get rid of the stained, old, dusty, moldy-smelling carpet.  Fun, clean area rugs would be a great replacement


June 30, 2011

Defenetly I would make tehonology changes. Our students need to have technological access as easy as they can. That will help them to go into a better education.


June 30, 2011

If the classrooms in our building could have a regular cleaning, that would be a tremendous improvement. If over 20 kids visited your home for a day more would be needed than a quick swipe at the bathroom and emptying the trash. Over a decade of requests from numerous teachers and there has been no change. Between the filth and the roaches, it is a challenging place to spend your days.

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