Feng Shui (pronounced fung shway) is the ancient Chinese approach of interior design that promotes balance and well-being in our environment. Literally translated, it means “wind” and “water.” By employing the pointers outlined below, your classroom can grow to be more relaxed, thereby fostering learning and minimizing disciplinary problems. I was a nonbeliever at first, also. I thought it was all hocus-pocus. But then I started adding Feng Shui solutions to different areas of my classroom, and I found that I had one of the most productive years I’ve ever experienced with my students. Even the subs who came in for me noted that my students were remarkable. Was it the amazing mix of students that I had that year? I don’t think so! I believe that the climate in my room fostered a mutual cooperation and educational awareness that was previously lacking.

Chinese philosophers feel that “chi” is the essence of energy in the universe. It has a profound effect – both good and adverse – on our surroundings. Chi needs to be free to move so it can improve health, prosperity, and knowledge. If it moves too rapidly, it will speed away from you. If it becomes stagnant, it will have no beneficial effect on you. What aids chi to move freely around your room?

1.ELIMINATE CLUTTER! Nothing stops chi quicker than a cluttered space where the room’s energy hangs and stagnates until the pile is cleared and the area where it sat is cleaned. How you get rid of clutter is up to you – reorganize, use storage crates, or whatever it takes to produce a neat, organized setting for education.

2.Add plants – plenty of living, healthy plants. Fertilize and water them consistently. Dead or dying plants snare chi; strong, healthy plants help to move chi around the room. Select plants that have rounded leaves – geranium, boxwood, jade and peacock plants. Don't use plants with pointed leaves like palm, or leaves with a negative symbolism like the spearhead-shaped caladium. I know it seems crazy, but when you think about the subconscious symbolism that the Chinese interpret as “poison arrows,” it starts to make sense. Above all, don't use a cactus plant!

3.Add several mobiles in corners of the classroom to avert the chi from collecting in the corners. I have a wind chime just inside the door to my classroom. Aside from the obvious that the students find it entertaining, it adds the benefit of moving the dynamic chi from the hallway into the static classroom environment. The chimes are said to rouse the chi in a room.  Make sure you hang your mobiles so they are compatible with the feng shui bagua.

4.Posters which indicate motion also help to move the chi. Ocean waves, a waving flag, and running people are all fine examples. Beware of posters with pointed designs (poison arrows) and wild, angry creatures (you figure out the symbolism!)

5.Sound is excellent. The soft rippling water from a fish tank is fantastic, provided the tank is regularly maintained and the fish seem vibrant. Personally, I would avoid the sound of tabletop water sculptures, unless you want your little scholars to request more bathroom passes than they already do! I had one especially difficult middle school class several years ago that arrived immediately after lunch. To calm them, I began every class with five minutes of tranquil time while I played natural, new age style music – my preferred composer is Yanni. From time to time I spoke over the audio and offered the students guided ideas for the day’s subject. At other times, I let them drift. The challenging group became a bit more manageable as they relaxed and turned within themselves for a few minutes. After a while, they actually came in expecting the tranquil time and were disappointed if I hadn’t planned it into the lesson.

6.Feng Shui practitioners have encouraged fragrance, but some students have allergies, so I don’t have any flowering plants in my room. Incense bothers asthma. Man-Made odors that plug into outlets can be offensive. However, sometimes it is good to disguise the odor of twenty humans in one small space. Citrus is perfect for that purpose. Either take your orange peels from lunch and toss them in a container, changing them routinely, or hang a pomade ball – an orange studded with cloves.  I had one student return to my classroom after graduation. She remarked how awesome my room smelled!

Feng Shui treatments supply a platform for the chi to move through your classroom, thereby energizing your little scholars. However, these six ideas are only part of the story. Read my book, Feng Shui for the Classroom: 101 Easy-to-use Ideas for the rest of the story. It is available at my website: (www.reneeheiss.com/fengshui.html).


Author's Bio: 

Renee Heiss is a freelance author of books, articles, and blogs for teachers, parents, and everyone who helps children.

Contact her to schedule workshops at your school: www.reneeheiss.com/fengshui.html