Shifting the focus from the look of a room; from what is on the walls or even where the tables and chairs are placed. Moving our focus from 'flexible' learning spaces to the idea of identifying how it FEELS to BE in a learning space; to be part of a community in a learning space.
When we give time to develop relationships; when we empower all members of our team to be active learners; when our students have voice and time to share their thinking, then we can really identify what it 'FEELS' like to BE. To 'BE' what? A learner, part of the grade level community, a team member, a contributor, part of something bigger than yourself.
For me relationships underpin all that works in a classroom; and I have always felt that the relationships we build with students and the other people who we work with are what create the essence of what it feels like to belong in a space.
When we create a safe environment for learning and build robust relationships with students our job is just beginning. Creating structures and opportunities to authentically embrace student agency; students having voice; having control over learning; knowing what their choices are, while having structures in place that ensure that students can learn and be inspired to confidently take their passions and curiosities and develop understandings.
So if we focus on how it feels to be in a space maybe we are one step closer to creating a sense of empowerment that means students can have real agency. They are not in compliance mode but are creative, challenged and inspired by their own curiosities, concerns and passions.
We are on a journey . . . "How does it feel to be in the space?"