This week’s topic: What does your classroom say about you as a teacher? What purposeful choices have you made as you created the space you share with students?
The ironic part of this topic is that I’m still waiting on an office and a computer. Due to construction, I currently don’t have a space so I am floating.
So, this will be about the space I am trying to create.
As a classroom teacher, my room was full of color. Students’ writing and art covered all corners of the room – the ceiling included. Pillows and blankets dotted one corner of the room while a check-out book shelf lined another corner. The shades around the window were pulled back to let the natural light in. Often, I would not even turn on my classroom lights if the natural light was bright enough. Fall scents filled the air. Generally, I wanted the room to be welcoming, creative, and warm. As a teacher, I strive to be all of those things. In fact, my classroom was very similar to my home. It was home-like with a creative twist. I allowed the students to have a voice in design as well. I changed up the orientation of the tables frequently. I let the students paint a wall. I allowed the students to decorate their writing on butcher paper and line the ceiling. I know my personality was still the most dominate in the room, but they had a creative a voice, which is often the most important.
Now, my space is an office. However, it’s a space I plan to host clubs and numerous teachers. So, my plans for it are vastly different than my former classroom.
My goal is to have a space to host personal trainings and exploratory zones. With this in mind, it will have a wonder shelf, a small makerspace shelf where faculty and students can come to explore various creative tools and concepts. I will have featured challenge cards every two weeks to provide guidance, but it will primarily serve as a safe area to try out creative endeavors. It will also have a round table to host student clubs, intimate conversations, and trainings. Since it is the only area in my corridor with a window, it will have an open window to provide natural light.
I’ve found natural light to be a natural mood-lifter. It amazes me the difference it makes in learners. It will have color – lots of it. This is partly because I thrive on color, but also because many colors affect moods. Moods affect learning and creativity. So, an easy way to encourage creativity is through color.
It will have multiple Chromebooks for learners to come and learn in a safe space.
My space-to-be is centered around learning and creativity. I have purposely provided multiple small spaces to encourage creativity and to encourage discussion.
As I get my new office, I will post pictures and will chronicle my wonder shelf journey.
What does your space say about you as a person? As an educator? What would your ideal space have in it?