The proverbial clause “if these walls could talk” rings no truer than in the halls of schools. In schools, walls actually do talk. You just have to read them.
Walls are great advertising spaces! Geneva Gay, an educational researcher and culturally responsiveness advocate, says what educators display on the walls of their classrooms advertises to students, in particular, but also to others what is valued. We could not help but be reminded of this fact as we entered Cassandra Mattison’s computer lab located at Northeast Elementary School in Kinston, NC. This learning space, unlike many cold and sterile techno-centers, is a colorful, bright, inviting environment warmed by plants.
More importantly, her walls communicate high expectations, reinforce schoolwide learning concepts, and highlight positive affirmations.
Since media centers and computer labs are essentially the hub of the school where learning is supported and often extended beyond the walls of the school, such learning environments should encourage students to aim higher, think complexly, and develop the netiquette to be responsible citizens–digitally and otherwise. Hats off to Mrs. Mattison for creating a great space!
What are your walls saying?