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The Campus Lantern

New teacher transforms his room for student tranquility and relief

Dr.T’s diffuser spreading relaxing sents to impact students’ mood

Dr. Matthew Tarditi, also known as Dr. T, joined SCH this fall and introduced students to a classroom environment many were not familiar with. By using different lighting, diffusers, and a well-thought-out seating arrangement, he created a comfortable and relaxing classroom. comfortable and relaxing classroom with different lighting, diffusers, and a thought-out seating arrangement.
Dr. Tarditi said he believes, “ the physical space sets the mood, sets the tone, makes people, in my case, feel relaxed, calm.” He added, “I can’t stand the overhead lighting. It’s very sterile and too bright for me”
In Dr. Tarditi’s classroom, he uses warm light lamps around the room instead of the bright overhead white lights. He does this because it not only creates a calming environment for himself but also for his students.
Dr. Tarditi also uses many sensory tools to help impact his students’ learning behavior. This includes smells through his diffusers. The scent of the class depends on the activities including lavender to calm the class before a test or eucalyptus to energize the class.
Freshman Reagan Snyderman has Dr.Tarditi for History. She said “The lighting’s different. I like being in the dark. I don’t like bright lights around. She added, “He has a diffuser and, like, depending on what we’re doing in class, he’ll put in a different scent if it’s gonna be, like, more activities or he’ll put in a different scent if it’s more like we have to focus.”
There has also been a noticeable change in his students’ behavior when entering the classroom.
Dr.Tarditi said, “I think it has affected the kids’ attitudes and feelings coming into the space. I think that that impact has been positive and that in turn translates to them being able to engage more, being able to learn.”
Ms. Frye, the upper school psychologist at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, explained her opinions on creating a different learning environment. ​​She commented, “I think it is a great idea to add one or two grounding tools because this is something that is non-verbal and is just happening in the space to make the students feel more comfortable.”
She believes that the environment helps students feel relieved in many situations, including during tests. This helps students disassociate from the pressure of grades and feel more comfortable expressing their learning.
Dr. Tarditit also focuses on the design. He said, “that the physical design of a learning space is important and is determined in a lot of cases by what you’re trying to do in that space.” He continued, “I like them being comfortable with their friends at a table. So I feel like that’s also back to the kind of comfort and also getting support from each other.”
Through all of the grounding tools in his classroom, there is the idea of, “being mindful of, how I’m thinking, how I’m making sense of the world, how I’m feeling, and trying to, in this case, build an atmosphere that is positive for students that they feel comfortable in.”

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About the Contributor
Alexa Robles
Alexa Robles, Staff Writer
Alexa is currently a senior at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, and this is her first year on staff. Outside of school, she is always at the nail salon or in the Starbucks drive-through. She also thinks about driving her car all day.
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