At my school we are going through a period of change. The Old A block is getting knocked down (it is 85 years old) and some new class rooms are being built – they are about a year away.
So it was a good time to go scavenging – with very little trouble and no cost I got a white board at the back of my room.
The front of room white board and very messy desk
The back of room white board – no room for mess
I have had a very ‘traditional’ class room set up, with the big teachers bench at the front. I blogged earlier in the year about getting the desk out of lines and into groups. And now with the simple additional of another blackboard, my room has shifted again. There is no ‘front’. Or at least, there is less of one 🙂 Students can no longer lurk at the back – it has been fun watching my sit at the backers panic a bit when I am up there end, and all eyes are on them. A couple of the quicker ones even sat in the middle to be away from the action….
The thing I like best about it though is I don’t have the big bench to get stuck behind. I have asked for the desk to go, but it is a big job with the plumbing, radiator etc. So simply placing myself at the other end of the room without the physical barrier in the way meant I was instantly more connected with my learners, and in particular, the ones who like to lurk at the back.
So a very simple, low cost attempt at turning my space into a more connected and collaborative environment. So while I will continue to wish for new tables, non silo classrooms and some beanbags and couches, I’m doing what I can to make the work space better. And maybe over the christmas hol’s I can get rid of the teachers bench.