Do you need more plants in your life?
Perhaps you are a green finger plant lover already, perhaps not. If I’m honest I love plants, but I’d rather they were natural and growing wild outside because otherwise I have to remember to water them and I can’t leave them for prolonged times over the holidays without them dying.
But is recently came to my attention that they could be good for more than looks and not just in the house but also in the classroom.
When term started I did the rounds trying to catch up and say hi to colleagues I hadn’t seen all summer and when I popped into one office I was instantly struck and surprised at how many plants he had. It was like a greenhouse surrounding his desk! I was slightly disappointed that I hadn’t really noticed this before (I'm obviously not being as mindful as I would like to think!), but he did admit the collection was growing as people donate plants over the summer that they don’t want to die while they go away.
The interesting part about this was him telling me the impact that plants have on the quality of the air. Just notice the amount of dust that collects on the leaves compared to elsewhere. It also decreases CO2 levels which can make us feel drowsy and reduces unpleasant odours.
What I love about learning new things is when a couple of days or weeks later some other piece of evidence about the same thing lands on your desk, or more accurately in my inbox.
An information leaflet from www.urbanplanters.com titled ‘Improve Classroom Air’ was sent to me where they quote studies that have been done in the classroom that showed having just a few plants boosted concentration levels, productivity and overall health.
“ The findings in these classrooms included: - A 10-20% reduction in CO2 - An air-purifying effect of the plants, reducing ‘unsavoury odours’ to 0 within 45 minutes - 7% fewer health-related issues - Increased creativity - More than 20% improvement in scores for tasks and tests (there was a 35% improvement for a test which involved deciphering a secret code)” - URBAN PLANTERS
So, I for one am on a mission to get more plants in my life!
I’d love to hear your comments if you are already a plant person! And any suggestions on what I should buy will be gratefully received. Just comment below. And if you embrace this, let me know how it goes. Do you see a marked improvement in your own concentration levels as well as the students?
If you are a research person and want more info, you can download the leaflet with research results here.
Clare Martin is a the founder of the Positive Teacher Network who specialises in helping teachers to find the ultimate Work Life Balance and supports them with many of the difficulties teachers face today.
The Positive Teacher Network provides practical tips and strategies to busy, tired teachers to help them improve their lives allowing them to focus on being great teachers.