I read blog posts; lots of them! Lately I read one that was challenging the notion that the classroom is the third teacher and way teachers control the space. So this got me thinking!
At the start of this year we asked the students to design their learning space. They spent time drawing, planning, discussing, negotiating, thinking, moving and rearranging furniture. This process has not finished! I know we are seven weeks til the end of the year but the thing is the process is ongoing, because the purpose of the space keeps changing.
Students move tables and seating many times in a day, they create the spaces that work for them within the space that we have; and have done this all year.
We are in PYP Exhibition mode now and each student has created their own office space. They are developing and changing and the students are really invested in making their space work for them. We have asked them to document the evolution of their space over the time span of the unit, and I can't wait to see those film clips in June.
So with a space full of 40 individual offices plus a 'mini' space for group gathering and the 'teacher table (we removed our individual desks to take up less space and share a wooden table), we are really aware of things that don't need to be in the room.
This is the challenge we face.
As teachers we look at the space with different goggles! We have 'stuff', a nicer term is 'resources' or 'materials' that will be used during a unit or maybe two. Things that are left from years gone by, things that have 'never been sorted, donated or simply thrown away'. Things that no student actually uses 'yet'!
Our challenge is to remove the 'visual noise', those things that really don't deserve space in the learning environment; the things that don't have purpose and are there 'just in case'. When 'in case' happens we can source the materials and until then we need to clear space for clearer thinking and less clutter.
So today I challenge myself to start removing the clutter, boxes, books and 'stuff' that is not vital to the learning. To create opportunities that we don't even know that we have restricted with 'visual noise'.
Clear goggles and a more open space is coming soon.
Teaching in an IBPYP school; interests: student agency, technology integration, growth mindset & the continuous cycle of improvement that is the world of education, learning and being!