Does your office area inspire you to want to be there and do great work? Each year as I set up my classroom, this thought is central to me.

My office is a classroom, and I spend a lot of time there trying to inspire my kids to want to learn and to do their best.

I learned very early in my career that unless my classroom was a place that inspired me and that I felt comfortable in, it wouldn’t work for my kids either.

No matter what age students I have, they all take their cues from me. My attitude sets the stage for how their day will go.

One of my main goals in my room is always calmness. Having 20-24 students, be they teenagers in middle school or third-graders, means it is rarely calm, unless I create it.

I use colors that help create calmness. They happen to be the colors of the ocean. Soft blues and greens are colors that help, and they make me happy.

I use pictures of my family and places I’ve been, things that bring me joy; when I am joyful, it rubs off on my kids.

It also opens up windows into my world and lets them become part of it. When students feel like a part of your world, they let you into theirs.

Music has been proven to help memory when studying. Again, I choose music that helps me concentrate and focus and, like magic, my students are able to focus and work.

Music has the amazing ability to pump you up or calm you down. When used correctly, it can create a very motivating environment.

Many times we tend to view work as this place we are forced to be, but really we can control to an extent what our place of work looks and sounds like.

Not all workplaces are like classrooms, but we can find ways to make them extensions of places we like to be.

We can use our environment to become calmer, happier employees who get better work done.

When work is a place where we are happy, we inspire others, we are problem-solvers and we accomplish great things.


DONNA DAVIDSON is a local teacher, wife and mother who lives northeast of Paris. Her email address is

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