This post is part of our summer 2020 series showcasing unique classrooms. Be sure to check out all our teachers who have been selected to see what they’ve done in their rooms.
Describe your classroom set up:
I teach in a brand new school that opened in September 2019. Our school is new and modern; therefore, we don’t have desks and can’t post things on the wall. We have tables that encourage collaboration and modern learning. My room is set up to do this, while also having space to work on the floor if needed.
My tables are also set up so that every student has access to all learning materials and can clearly view the whiteboard or bulletin boards. Since we weren’t allowed to post things on the wall I post only items that students need for their learning at the time. I view my classroom as the second teacher, so students can use materials, examples, and students’ work samples to learn from.
Why did you choose this particular layout?
I wanted a welcoming space where students can work together or learn for themselves. I also wanted it to be a place where families can come in and interact with their child. See photo attached above.
What is your favorite part of your design?
It’s not the regular classroom with desks. It allows for me and my students to learn and teach in ways that can’t happen in a regular classroom with desks.
Did anything surprise you about how your students reacted to your classroom (behavior, enjoyment, etc.)?
They loved always being able to sit in groups I was surprised that they struggled with not having a desk to put stuff into at the start. It really forced them to be more organized and bring only what they need to each class.
What is the biggest piece of design advice you can provide for someone who is just starting to think “outside of the box” in terms of classroom design?
You and your students don’t need as much as you think they need. They need space to work with you, their peers, and their families. If my 6/7 can thrive with no desks and a couple of bulletin boards, you don’t need a space that is overstimulating.
Stephanie Lazarevski is a grade 6/7 art teacher in Ontario, Canada. You can follow her on Instagram @the.crafty.teacher.