How To Create A Good Listening Environment In Your Classroom

Posted on: 12 August 2015

If you teach at a large school that has a diverse group of children, chances are good that you are going to come across some children with hearing problems. These hearing problems could be minor or they could be major. However, all of these hearing problems can be helped by making sure that you create a classroom environment that is designed for listening. Classroom acoustics can make it difficult for children with hearing disabilities to hear you, follow along, and pay attention in class. Here is how you can help.

1. Reduce Background Noise

The first thing that you need to do is make sure that you reduce background noise as much as possible. If you have a heater in your room that is extremely noisy, talk to your janitor about getting it fixed or consider throwing heavy blankets over it in order to muffle the noise. If you have fans, turn them off when you are giving a lecture and turn them back on again when you are allowing the children to work in groups, where they will be closer to each other and therefore easier to hear. Keep the doors and windows closed in order to make sure that sound from the outdoors does not get into your classroom. Finally, ensure that you develop a culture where children don't shuffle papers, whisper, or do anything else that could cause noise.

2. Hang Artwork and Flags From the Ceiling

Take soft materials, such as pictures your students have drawn, flags, or banners and hang them from the ceiling. They will be able to prevent the noise from your voice from traveling too far up and redirect it back to the students. The soft materials will also keep less noise from the room above you from reaching your students.

3. Pad the Chairs

Choose padding that does not contain latex and put it on the bottom of all of your chairs in your classroom. This will allow children to move around if they need to without disrupting your lesson and making it difficult for the other children to hear.

4. Talk to the Students

Finally, without naming names, talk to your students about how hard it is for some children to hear you talk and how that can make it hard for them to do well in school. Talk about how your other students wouldn't like it if the other children covered their eyes so that they couldn't see you or talked so loudly that they couldn't hear you. Try to build empathy in your students.

For more information, talk to a company that works to help those with hearing disabilities.