I, Joy Kirr, am a middle school teacher, author, and speaker. My 7th grade ELA (English Language Arts) classes are working to improve their lives through student-directed learning - without marks throughout the year. This is a log of my learning experiences... Want to have me speak with your staff or facilitate a workshop? Here is my PORTFOLIO.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Optimal Conditions for Learning

I'm taking on an eight-week blogging challenge, and the question this week was...

"What are optimal conditions in which to learn, for you, and for students?"

Immediately I had two students in mind. I'll call them Ava and Alvin.

Ava's optimal conditions for learning would include a quiet space on her own, a pencil and paper, in a typical classroom chair at a desk. Ava seems willing to learn anything, any day.

Alvin's optimal conditions for learning would include his music flowing from his earbuds, his computer, on a rolling chair anywhere in the room. Knowing why the learning is important will help Alvin stay motivated to focus.

My own conditions change based on where I am. Right this instant it's in a favorite chair with a pillow on my lap and laptop on top, drink by my side, fuzzy socks on my feet, and quiet throughout the house. I also need a REASON to learn, as that helps with my motivation to continue learning.

I don't know if this question can be answered, except individually. What are your thoughts? Please leave a comment below as to your thoughts and YOUR optimal learning conditions.

This post is week 4 of 8 in the 8 Weeks Summer Blog Challenge for educators


  1. As always, you've pointed to the individual because you know the optimal conditions are those that match each student. Great points. ~ Sheri

  2. Joy, great way to consider this question. Thanks for the challenge. I also liked your idea of asking this question of all our students. It really helps them own their learning. Thanks, again.