Today Mrs. Kauffman, Mrs. Golas, and I presented to other teachers about creative learning spaces. We talked about how much happier our classes have been since making the switch. Some key points brought up:
1. A new space is more than new furniture, it is a shift in thinking about classroom management.
2. It is student centered and student focused.
3. It requires the teacher to be a classroom conductor of learning, not the sole source of knowledge.
We interviewed the kids prior to presenting to see what they wanted us to share. This is what the said:
1. “When I’m relaxed, I feel like I’m at home, and it is easier to get my thoughts out.”
2.”A person who doesn’t understand that kids don’t want to sit in one spot, has never been a kid before.”
3.”My story project is fun and actually makes me want to come to class.”
4. “There is more variety now which keeps it interesting. Like, you wouldn’t want to eat the same thing everyday because it would get boring.”
With no promises of a utopian classroom, I can say the kids have been more joyful, curious, and self-reliant since the “new classroom.” And apparently they aren’t the only ones. When asked by another teacher, “So how is Mrs. GW liking the new classroom space?” These were some of the responses:
1. “She seems happier.”
2. “It is a more pleasant atmosphere.”
3. “I like how the room just feels cheerful.”
(Yes, I am okay laughing at myself with these statements. I asked for feedback… right?)
Watching a student produce a play she wrote herself, hearing the giggles of two kids hard at work co-writing a creative story, talking with a student who worked for two hours at home on a project because he didn’t want to stop… NOT because I assigned homework, what teacher wouldn’t feel joy!?