Back to the Classroom: Color It Right!

Image Credit: Stephen Cheetham

Image Credit: Stephen Cheetham

(Teaching) life is never monochrome, so why should your workspace be? Teachers need color in their life too!

While you’re decorating your classroom in anticipation of the new school year, there’s no need to overhaul your desk to make it more cheery. Small changes can make a difference. Today, we look at little ways to put some color in your workspace.

In her book Start Smart: Building Brain Power in the Early Years, Dr Pam Schiller recommends the usage of the following colors not only to improve learning, but to improve mood. Use them in your workspace in accordance to your needs.

Image Credit: Vaca Valiente

Red leather desk tidy. Image Credit: VacaValiente


The sight of this color quickens the heart and pulse rate, making you more alert and excited. Place something red as one of the first items you see when you come in, such as a desk tidy. Red also gets your creative juices flowing, so all the more reason to have it in your workspace. It also increases appetite, so it’s best not to get a red lunchbox if you’re on a diet!

Tip:  Having a Pomodoro timer on your desk helps keep you alert and work efficiently!

Blue Throw Pillow. Image Credit: Pillow Decor

Blue throw pillow. Image Credit: Pillow Decor


Blue is the color of the mind, a hue that creates a sense of well-being in the onlooker. Use strong blues for clarity of thought in generating ideas and softer shades when you need to unwind. Try a blue sketchbook for mind mapping. A blue throw pillow could be useful for that lunchtime power nap or for a five-minute mindfulness exercise.

Tip: Blue is an appetite inhibitor, so if you’re watching your meal portions, go ahead and serve your food on a blue plate!

Yellow desktop calendar. Image Credit: CristylClear on Etsy

Yellow desktop calendar. Image Credit: CristylClear on Etsy


This is the color to get your positivity going! Yellow is the color of sunshine and sticky notes, so use this eye-catching hue in your calendar or planner to get you in the right frame of mind to tackle your tasks. Yellow also helps maintain attention, so you could include in your visual aids when you teach.

Tip: While we’re on the subject of sticky notes, try Scrum to help you organize your projects!

Orange paper clips. Image Credit: B&M Stores

Orange paper clips. Image Credit: B&M Stores


Orange increases alertness and stimulates critical thinking. While that will be helpful for your students, you can use it to your advantage too when you’re working on an analytical task, like using an orange bookmark when you read or orange paper clips while grading papers.

Fun tip: Orange denotes good value, so you might want to be clad in orange when you’re presenting a new idea.

Neon green mug. Image credit: Root7

Neon green mug. Image credit: Root7


Green is at the center of the color wheel, making it a neutral color and the color of balance and harmony. Found in abundance in nature, green aids relaxation and sparks creativity. So yes, go ahead and get that green mug for those trips to the water cooler.

Embossed leather journal. Image Credit: Modern Artisans

Embossed leather journal. Image Credit: Modern Artisans


This royal hue promotes calmness while its relative violet encourages introspection.  After a long day, pen your thoughts down in a purple journal.

Setting the Right Tone

Classrooms are where you spend most of your working day and where the magic of learning happens. The kids learn, and you help them do that. But while you work hard at decorating your classroom to make it the best place for your students to learn, don’t forget to include the right colors to make it the best environment for the person behind the magic – you.

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