California teacher says changing classroom decor can create a positive learning environment
Anna Savino considers the classroom home. A teacher for 16 years, the Chula Vista, California educator wants to do more than teach — she also wants to inspire. Painted in bright colors and decorated with accents and comforts of home, her classroom isn't what you typically see at schools across the country.
"I did research on environments and their effect on our ability to learn and our ability to be positive," she said.
Her inspiration: startups and small business owners who co-work in environments that incorporate comfort, community and productivity. She wanted to apply it to her classroom and took the idea to her students.
"They did some research. I gave them a $200 budget.”
The modest makeover included plants and new lighting.
The redesign caught the attention of flexible workplace company WeWork.
Lexey Radcliff, a community director at the company, says "We saw it as an opportunity to support our local community. A WeWork team stepped in to further transform the classroom. With a mural, couch, even video games, Savino's classroom is now a place where students dream big. Student Alania Salazar calls the classroom: "A high school version of Disneyland."
CBS correspondent Nichelle Medina asked Savino: "What feelings come to mind when you look around the classroom? It's pretty spectacular."
Savino responded: "I am humbled and thankful,” she said, adding, “The students are calmer during class and they're more productive and focused."
Savino says you don't have to spend a lot of money. Small changes like plants, art, and even beanbags can improve the classroom environment. Redesigning the classroom can also be a fun way to encourage parent involvement.
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