In the morning, I often don’t turn all the classroom lights on. At least not right away. It feels too harsh, too bright. If some student happens to flip on all the switches when they come in the room all the students yell at him telling him to turn them off. When I ask the students if there is enough light in the room, most of the them will say yes. We gradually wake to the light, ease into the day. It feels more intimate, more homey than the glare of institutional light. There are lights over the blackboard which lend a kind of soft ambience to the classroom space. There are some days when I refuse to turn on all the lights. This supports quiet conversation and informal interactions.
This morning it was really dreary, cloudy and raining, so the level of natural light was lower than usual. Some students were catching up on reading before the class began. Pictured above is ML’s creation of a cozy and personal reading space in the early hours when school begins, before the harsh neon lights of the school day get turned on.