TCHS Rampage

Temple City High School


September 26, 2016

Remarkable classroom inspires

When students walk into Room 503, the sight of a classroom wall, marked with a large black café menu with a lit up perimeter, greets them.

Ms. Sarah Penalora, who teaches English Three and AP Language and Composition, designed her classroom this year in a coffee house style with posters, paper lanterns and tall stools along a countertop. She also utilized other artistic items like black chalkboard paint and markers to create decorations for her students to learn in a pleasant classroom environment.

Ms. Penalora drew inspiration for her classroom design from a book called “Move Your Bus” by educator Ron Clark. Clark created a renowned school called the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia. Amongst numerous ideas, he had a classroom mirrored as a Starbucks bistro, which featured various seating arrangements and tables.

“I thought I’d try my hand at creating, as best I could, such a classroom,” Ms. Penalora said. “I wanted to see if students felt better, more comfortable and willing to work in a space that resembled a coffee house.”

According to students’ first impressions on the classroom looks, the decorations have done their job of making a soothing learning environment.

“Having the rhetorical terms written around the room and the setup of it all really makes me feel more at ease with the class,” Junior Kathleen Fong said. “It helps me feel reassured that I have a teacher that really wants the best for her students.”

Not only do the ornaments produce a comfortable

surrounding, they also provide writing aid for students. Posters put up on the walls are able to help students with their writing and literary analysis, and on another side of the class, there are literary terms written on blackboard background cabinets in different bright colors, giving it a coffee menu look.

“I feel that Ms. Penalora’s decorations help light up the room,” Junior Michelle Huynh said. “They also inspire all of us in regards to writing due to all the bright colors and key terms that are written on the walls.”

Although the café theme and looks play an important role in creating a relaxing learning setting for students, it is ultimately the students’ peers who play the major role of forming a communal workspace.

“Decorations are decorations, but creating a safe, comfortable environment where students can collaborate and work is something that comes together by fostering respect for one another,” Ms. Penalora said. “I think everyone enjoys a comfortable place to read, write, research and discuss issues.”

penalora-classrom           Kathleen Fong observes rhetorical devices


About the Author

William Lu
... .... ... ... ...? ... ... ... ...!



DJ Bik turns tables with lit tracks

Junior Ben Clark’s Saturday night is lit, with his friends dancing carelessly along as he DJ’s blasting music. If he is not playing football, you can easily catch him in his room practicing with his DJ equipment. “The thi...
by Emily Hsu

Fight Final

Taking high school to the Max

I remember the exact moment that I realized my high school experience is soon going to be over and will never come back again. It was the last set of our first round C.I.F. volleyball game and we were getting killed. When the o...
by Bobbins Moose


Staff and students say goodbye to homework over break

For most students, schoolwork seems to be endless, even during week long breaks. To prevent students from working on homework during their time off, counselors and teachers from each department finalized a no homework over brea...
by Melody Lo



A Day in the Life of Ms. Zovak Gaffney

A round of applause rings as the curtains close, lights fade and a smile breaks across English and Drama teacher Ms. Michele Zovak-Gaffney’s face as the last drama play of the year, “Tartuffe,” comes to an end. In the spi...
by Bobbins Moose


Unearth a “whole new world” after prom ends

Just because prom ends at midnight does not necessarily mean that you have to stop the night there. Whether you and some of your friends are looking for a bite to eat or want to release that inner wild child, here are a few pla...
by Bobbins Moose



Be the first to comment!

Leave a Reply