I mentioned in a previous post about people I know who are setting up schools. Well, I visited one before it was finished was interested to look at the rooms. Of course, the building work was still going on but I could see the basic shape and feel of the classrooms. This got me thinking…..
We all learn about the horse shoe and other types of table logistics but how about the rest? A lot of the places I’ve worked in over the past few years have just been white rooms with tables and chairs and maybe an OHP, some have had boards but some haven’t. Sounds dull I know but when they are used for different topics then it makes sense.
Now then, what if I was given freedom to design my own room? I’m not just talking about tables but the actual shape, colour, walls vs glass etc. Would I go for trendy glass walls or stone ones with a fortified gate? To be honest, I’m not keen on glass as everyone is able to see you and you them. I like a traditional room that feel safe so students don’t feel watched. But under the glass principal why have walls at all? I’ve seen this in some places that just have 1 room with 15 desks full of students having 121s. Not my ideal environment I must say.
OK, so I’d like walls with 1 or 2 bigish windows with nice views and natural light. I don’t like all the artificial stuff. Now, shape? Would round be possible? That would be interesting and a break from square rooms or even oval might be good. Then I could be in the middle. Why do we always have to be at the front? Just because that’s where the board is? Well, have a portable board or a rotating projector. Or just a portable board.
Tables? Do I want any or would seats with little tables attached be OK? Why not. Don’t tables just serve as a boundary between ‘us and them’? Would I be ‘cool’ enough to just use bean bags? How about sofas? Or it could be like in primary schools with activity stations or ‘areas’ where students choose where to sit.
Colours? White, black? Orange would be nice I think or even a pattern or a mural. Those digital photo frames too with pictures of the weekly topics perhaps or even student work or students.
Would it be too much to ask for a glass roof?
Here are some examples of innovative designs:
This one raises the question of ‘why do we need separate classrooms or spaces?’ Couldn’t we have open areas in a large open space? Then everyday you could alternate where you teach.