Green light: Teachers are implementing light covers to increase student focus


Darby Allen

Librarian Julie Huff proudly presents her blue light covers in the student area of the library.

In an already tedious school day, the fluorescent lights shining down on students can worsen stress and decrease focus, but teacher Rachel Lechner and librarian Julie Huff are combating the bright dilemma with special lighting setups in their rooms.
It is common for researchers and scientists to suggest changes in school that will make student life easier. Whether it be a shorter school day or week, a more comfortable classroom setting or a change in curriculum, scientific inquiries often prove that changes in a student’s environment positively impact their life. The school standard currently being critiqued is the set up of lighting in schools.
Lechner came across this research and thought it would impact her students.
“Over the summer I found the studies and I thought that I would give it a try in my room,” Lechner said.
Lechner used the website in order to fund her experiment. DonorsChoose is an organization that allows teachers to request donations for ideas they want to implement in the classroom. An anonymous donor paid Lechner’s request.
“It sat for a while unfunded, but eventually somebody provided money for it,” Lechner said. “It took a couple of weeks to come in, but once it came in, they were these amazing sheets that covered the lights and lit up the room in bright green.”
After setting up, Lechner said that her students loved the new idea, and freshman Gannon Clemons took a particular interest in it.
“My friends and I thought it was pretty dope,” Clemons said. “We thought we could try it in our math teacher’s classroom.”
Math teacher Holly Nelson was receptive to Clemons’s idea.
“Gannon was interested in it, so I was willing to try the lights in my classroom,” Nelson said.
Not having the funds to recreate Lechner’s expensive lights, they improvised using tape and tissue paper.
“It didn’t work, but we still had a good time,” Clemons said.
However, Lechner is not the only teacher at Nixa using light covers; Huff has decided to use these special lights as well. Huff took inspiration from teachers like Lechner.
“I saw other teachers using light covers and I thought it would be a good idea to use in the library,” Huff sai
With so many teachers executing these lights, they are proving to be successful within Nixa.
“I really think the lights have helped my students focus more,” Lechner said. “When the kids and I are focused and calm, it makes for a much better learning environment.”
In pursuit of making the library a calmer and happier place, Huff said she is also pleased with the results.
“A lot of students have gravitated towards it because of the calming sensation it brings, and I do believe it is better for their health,” Huff said.
Lechner, Huff and others all hope to continue their experiment and spread it to other teachers to make the school a calmer place.
“I would consider using it in my classroom,” Nelson said. “I think it would have a good effect on my kids.
Science challenges practices in schools in order to make the classroom a more friendly environment for students to learn in. Teachers at Nixa are striving to help their students.
“It’s another one of those things that helps my students take initiative in the classroom,” Lechner said. “It makes them feel more at home and that’s what I love.”