I’ve spent the last 22 years of my teaching career in the same classroom; I count the years by the number of class pictures on my wall. I have transformed it into a learning space that I am completely happy with. It is an efficient and effective environment where my students are content, relaxed, happy and eager to explore, create, question and learn. I’ve recently been informed that I’ll be moving….to a portable classroom.
I’m not going to lie, at first I was disappointed. But as I’ve always said to my students: “When one door closes, at least two others open”. I’d be a hypocrite not to heed my own advise. In fact, I’m quite sure my new portable will have two doors!!! I’m looking at this unexpected change as a new opportunity to grow, learn, collaborate, share and create an even better learning space for my students than the one that took me 22 years to establish.
I’ll be moving the furniture, desks, mats and equipment you see in the video above to my portable and hopefully, a SMART Board will be installed. A set of 10 Chromebooks have replaced the cart of Macbooks. I’m excited about some new ideas that I have for my new space. As we’ll only be one step away from the outdoors and space will be limited in the classroom, I plan on spending much more time having my students work, learn, play and collaborate outside. Thus, I’m hoping to acquire a class set of lawn chairs, a portable whiteboard and mini white boards for each student.
I’m reaching out to my PLN for your advise and experience with teaching in a portable classroom. What works? What are the advantages? What suggestions and tips do you have? How have you set up your “portable” learning space? Do you take advantage of the close proximity to the outdoors? Can you provide me with a picture or two of your classroom? Please take a moment to fill in this form to help me build my new learning space. I plan on sharing my learning journey and any input provided. If you don’t teach in a portable and never have, please pass this blog post onto someone you know who has! I’m looking forward to learning from all of you and thanks in advance for your help!
Well, it’s been 18 hours since I posted and the response from my PLN has been incredible! Thank you!
Here’s some of my new learning, questions and thoughts…
I am now officially referring to my new learning space as “The Cottage” until my new class in September decides on a name. I will be inviting my students to help co-create The Cottage and determine how they would like to structure their school day. More outside learning will definitely happen. I think I’ll keep the mats but also ask for a carpet. Wondering what teachers experience is with bringing personal furniture into the classroom (for example, a coffee table or a chair)? Lawn chairs and small student whiteboards are high on my priority list. I’ll want to bring in a portable blue tooth speaker. As many of you know, technology is an important component of my learning space. We normally share our 10 Chromebooks with another class to make a class set of 20 (minus 6 or 7 as we have classes of 27) for half the school day. Sharing was relatively easy as the class we shared with was directly across the hall. Sharing of the Chromebooks will prove more problematic.
Suggestions? Ideas? Thoughts?