Let the Sunshine In!

Sunshine in the classroom is vital yet so many teachers cover their windows. Sunshine provides so many important boosts to the body and will only benefit your student’s moods and learning. Stop covering your windows for these three reasons:

1.Sunshine helps your brain produce serotonin

Serotonin is known to help the brain focus and learn as well as boost the mood. Especially Northern states can attest to something known as Affective Mood Disorder, a common side effect of the lack of sunshine in the winter months. This mood disorder boosts anxiety, mood swings, and can affect a persons sleep.

Serotonin fights mood disorders that could be affecting your students and helps them feel brighter and more able to focus on their studies. Open the windows and let the light in (even if it is just a little bit).

2. The darker a room is the more likely it is your brain will produce melatonin – the hormone that helps you sleep.

Dark classrooms actually hinder student learning by making them fight their natural hormonal release of melatonin, the hormone that helps their bodies relax and go to sleep. This is a great reason to limit the amount of time you project images on a whiteboard. If you have to have a dark room to do so, students may want to stay alert and learn but their bodies are acknowledging the dark.

Get a few minutes of sunshine before you darken the room.

3. Fluorescent lighting is linked to learning troubles

Although the research is mixed, there does tend to be more research that points to the detriment of fluorescent lighting in classrooms. As a teacher, there is absolutely nothing you can do to change the lighting in your classroom but you can open the windows. Let that sunshine in for a few minutes, or the entire time, and help change students responses to the lighting.

Fluorescent lighting is linked to behavioral issues, headaches, and sleep issues. These issues are well known and researched with many employers rolling back their use of fluorescent lighting in new office construction. Schools haven’t caught up yet. So in the meantime, open those windows and get the benefits of natural sunlight.

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