It’s Back to School time and teachers everywhere are setting up their classrooms. Here’s a few Feng Shui tips to include in the design to help your school year ahead flow with more balance and ease.
I’ve done enough consultations with teachers in their classrooms to know that there’s usually a lot going on in a small space! A bit of strategic Feng Shui placement can enhance the learning experience for teacher and student alike. Where do you start?
Since all age levels participate in some sort of classroom experience, let’s talk about a basic Feng Shui approach that can be tailored to everyone’s particular needs. That means we’ll focus on some practical applications of basic Feng Shui Principles as they apply to the classroom.
Classroom Feng Shui Tip #1: Create a Good Feeling for All
The classroom is for teachers and students alike. Crate an academic “home” that works for all of you. Teachers set the tone for the room, and this is where their personal style can shine. Go for it!
However, it’s the students’ home away from home as well, and that is why I’ve always appreciated a classroom that’s added touches of the students’ products and accomplishments to the décor. It’s also nice to integrate something that pupils relate to into the mix.
This seems to be quite easy when teaching younger students, but for those of you teaching teens and college level students, you may need to brainstorm some ways to personalize the space for them.
Items that represent their goals within the department or subject matter can be added. School colors, mascots and other signs or objects that build community are powerful choices.
When I designed a university business school computer lab, it mimicked a professional open office setting. The undergrads could not only learn the research and investment skills the lab offered but envision themselves actually being employed and at work in the field well before their graduation and eventual employment.
Classroom Feng Shui #2: Take Charge of the Classroom
Teachers, one of the most important placements in any classroom is your desk. Please, please, please put your desk in the Power Position! This means that, when sitting at the desk, you have a view of the door to the classroom but are not in direct line with the door. Also try to have a solid wall at your back.
Refer to the chart above for ideas about where you could put your desk. This is a most essential location for success in any career, but when you’re in a room full of energetic and “enthusiastic” learners you will appreciate feeling more in command of the situation.
In many instances this exact placement may be problematic. Sometimes desks are built in. Storage is built in. School architects generally do not utilize Feng Shui in their design.
Be creative. Be persistent. Ask the maintenance staff to find a way for you to plug in your computer even if the nearest outlet is not near this position. Create a false wall behind you with curtains or screens. Figure out how to requisition a new, high back chair to simulate a wall to your back. Find a way to give yourself the gift of right placement.
Classroom Feng Shui #3: Place Students in an Empowered Position
I know teachers have all kinds of ways to line up desks, and some change their desk arrangements often. I suspect part of the reason desks are moved so often is that the Feng Shui is off and the “right” positioning is being sought.
Everyone in the room, students and teacher alike, can “feel” the imbalance.
To avoid a constant shuffle, remember that you, the teacher, are in charge. Your desk, and only your desk, should be in the Power Position. Don’t vie with the students for rank by giving them the same placement as you.
Now, I’m also not saying that you should make your students feel subconsciously uneasy. The ideal is to have no student with their back to the door. Try to arrange desks so students can, with a slight side glance, view the door if need be.
Some classrooms are very fluid with different stations that students travel to throughout the day. Don’t make yourself crazy trying to make every seat in the room be in exactly these positions.
I suggest your priorities be to have the Teacher’s main desk in the Power Position and, if each student has their own dedicated desk or seat, they have a side view of the door.
Classroom Feng Shui #4: Balance the Flow
Feng Shui is about Ch’i, the vital energy that is in us as well as in everything around us. Feng Shui seeks to balance the flow of Ch’i to help humans feel more comfortable.
Generally, we prefer a bit of variety. Break up the straight lines of rows of desks. Stagger them in some way to create more unevenness. Place an asymmetrical mobile or floor plant in front of a row of bookcases. You get the idea.
Ch’i enters the classroom through the door from the hallway. When the door is lined up with an exterior window, Ch’i will take a direct line out the window. Divert the energy back into the room by placing something in its path.
Hang something from the ceiling, place a tall item on the windowsill or position a piece of furniture in the line from the door to the window. This will slow and redirect the energy flow within the room and make it more tranquil.
One classroom I consulted on had an exterior clear glass door to the playground in addition to an interior door to the hallway. Not only did it create yet another view to distract students from their work, but it also divided the teacher’s attention as she had to keep an eye on both potential entry points.
We added colorful posters to the glass to “solidify” the door and block the view. Everyone immediately felt safer and more at ease.
Classroom Feng Shui #5: Strike a Balance of Stuff
One person’s cluttered is another person’s stark. It seems every Tips List I write has clutter clearing on it, but in this day and age it is one of our biggest Feng Shui challenges. There is so much available to us that it is easy to overdo.
Remember what Goldilocks said? Not too big, not too small, just right. Keep an eye on the visual noise in your classroom and find that “just right”. When does it become too much and turn into clutter?
Be mindful of the definition: If you don’t use it or don’t love it, it’s clutter.
As you add students’ creations throughout the year, be sure to remove items that are no longer needed. Too much in any space creates a visual and energetic clutter than can disrupt any age occupant to become uncomfortable, antsy or overwhelmed.
Put away anything you can, whether in any built-in storage, baskets and bins or other containers. The less you see out, the more calm can prevail.
As Feng Shui Supporting Principle #1 advises: Your things are talking to you all the time, be sure they have good things to say!
Classroom Feng Shui Tip #6: Create Yin Transitions
Give students the opportunity to transition from your classroom to their next space with ease and flow. If your class needs to line up at any point in the day, another recommendation for feeling more comfortable in the classroom is to arrange the room so there is a quiet spot to line up.
One Teacher I consulted with complained of rowdy behavior by her second graders when they lined up to leave the room. She was forming the line directly in front of the door so they could exit straight into the hall.
We created a new thoroughfare within the classroom so the kids could create the line along an interior wall, avoiding the direct and more active Ch’i flow from the door. They also could no longer become over curious about the goings on in the hall.
This Client reported much improved behavior from her students when they started lining up in this more Yin part of room.
For older students who normally jump right up and bolt out of the room, have them hand in their work or stack books and computers in the back of the room. The back is a more Yin part of the room and the short journey there will allow them to make a more measured transition from the room.
Classroom Feng Shui Tip #7: Set Intentions
You can also add an Inner Feng Shui approach to create a successful school year. As the teacher, what is your intention for your students this year? How about an intention for your career personally? Setting intentions helps develop our Inner Feng Shui.
Once you have crystaized your intention, place an affirmation or visual picture of what you’d like to achieve somewhere in the classroom. Students enjoying reading a book, graduating or being successful learning are examples.
One way you can really amplify your intentions is to use the Feng Shui Bagua Map in the classroom.
If you haven’t discovered this fabulous Feng Shui tool, get your Free Download of my Feng Shui Bagua Map, complete with instructions on how to place and interpret its wisdom.
An item can be placed in each of these life areas (guas) to represent the highest intention for that specific gua.
You and your students can create an intention for the year and display it prominently in the room. Your individual intentions can be written down and placed in a Traditional Chinese red envelope under your desk blotter.
When placing the Bagua Map over your classroom’s floor plan, use the primary entry door into the room. This is the interior door that adjoins the hallway of your school.
I am also available to help you both place and optimize the Feng Shui Bagua areas of your classroom. Contact me to book your telephone consultation today.
Isn’t it exciting to have yet another valuable tool to improve you and your students’ school year? How will you apply these Feng Shui tips to your benefit? Let me know how you proceed!
Back to school is an exciting, optimistic and forward-thinking time. Maximize the potential of this special time of year with a bit of Feng Shui in your classroom.
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