Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Messy Classrooms & Sloppy Professionalism

Some may like us to believe that "A messy desk is a sign of a genius."  The question for the education profession is whether a messy classroom is a reflection on the instruction or the quality of the teacher.  Having taught for many years in several schools, I have seen it all when it comes to classroom design and maintenance.  And, I am always baffled - and rather put off - by the classrooms that reflect the scattered nature of a student's locker or a teenager's bedroom.  In a basic sense of professionalism, there would seem to be no justification for books haphazardly left on the floor or loose papers strewn across the desk, bookshelves, and corners.  Such a disregard for order and decorum seems to imply a casualness that could be perceived by students as less than serious.

Granted, I am a bit OCD in the way I like my classroom and desk.  In fact, years ago a colleague came in to my classroom to chat and paused, looking carefully at my desk.  "You live," she told me, "in a right-angle world."  And, my room is rather neat an orderly, though not lacking in character and some form of decoration.  Though that would seem to create and reflect the kind of order that is necessary for a learning environment.  Students, it seems without doubt, need structure in their lives and classes.  In fact, the classroom and school are sometimes the only order they can count on.  Beyond that idea though, there should be an expectation that teachers rooms are tidy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not everyone is just like you.
Some people are more comfortable a little messy. Some people don't mind being chubby.

You seem very uptight.