People who have attended school may have the impression that a typical classroom has two blackboards, one in the front and one in the back. The blackboard in the front is mainly used by teachers for demonstrating lessons, representing a “field” where knowledge is sown. The other blackboard, in the back, is like the “backyard” of the classroom, where students can plant flowers and grass, greening their own intellectual homes.
I don’t know when it started, but the blackboard at the back of the classroom has gradually been forgotten by students, leaving behind only a formality. Every once in a while, the propaganda committee members lead a few students to regularly create good blackboard displays according to the instructions from the student affairs office. The themes are unified throughout the school: at the beginning of the new semester, there is a “New Semester, New Plans” display; as “May Day” approaches, there is a display to welcome “May Day”; as National Day approaches, there is a celebration for “National Day”; as New Year’s Day approaches, there is a display to celebrate “New Year’s Day”… The main purpose of creating good blackboard displays is to undergo inspections by the student affairs office, then rank them and include them in the evaluation of the class and homeroom teacher.
Based on my observations and investigations, students generally pay little attention to the class blackboard displays. They find the content of the displays uninteresting and lacking appeal. The students responsible for creating the displays often prioritize completing the school’s assigned tasks, rarely considering the preferences of their peers. As a result, the classroom “backyard,” which should be full of vitality, has become a dull landscape, gradually fading from the students’ sight.
So, who are the classroom blackboard displays actually for? Are they meant for the personnel who inspect them from the student affairs office? Inspections serve as supervision, and supervision aims to better accomplish tasks. I believe the ultimate purpose of class blackboard displays should be to serve as the class’s “backyard,” becoming the students’ intellectual home. “New Semester, New Plans,” “Welcoming May Day,” “Celebrating National Day,” “Enjoying New Year’s Day,” and other themes set by the school are not wrong, but the problem arises when they fail to attract students. In that case, this platform for promotion becomes mere formality and fails to fulfill its intended promotional role.