I had an opportunity this week to visit an elementary school that is doing wonderful things for kids. Thoughtful instruction, positive energy, and a push for redesigning learning spaces to grow the habitats in which kids are learning. It was amazing to see the power of the conversations that The Space: A Guide for Educators can start and continue in schools.
I was able to leave the team with lots of praise and hopefully a few questions to move the conversations along. I applauded their work to hack the seating options in their classrooms. I saw lots of folks making great use of legacy seating to support modern learning. I also saw an effort to give students' choice in where they chose to sit throughout the day.
I nudged the staff to continue to think about a few items. How much of your room is used to display past learning versus present learning? How many square feet of your room is only used by the teacher? Answers to these questions can spark further examination about where to go next.
My final encouragements were to experiment and try things for two weeks, and then ask students about how they like each of the changes; to think about what items in the room had become invisible and potentially distracted learning; and to maintain as much writeable space for students to use to process their learning on a daily basis.
It continues to be a blast to support these conversations around the country. Rebecca and I are close to announcing a start date for Space The Course which will be a great two week opportunity for teachers to grow more intentional about their learning space design.