As the school year begins with laminating machines firing up, photocopy machines heating up, and all kinds of technology charging up, there’s this question teachers often ask each other in hushed tones: “Is your room ready yet?”
I’m sure you’ve heard every intonation of this question. There’s the energetic-excited-enthusiastic voice, just hoping you’ll ask her so she can tell you about every corner of her space. There’s the voice hoping for camaraderie and absolution in not having started yet. And there’s the common, but understated, “Well, it’s as ready as it’s going to be because the kids are coming tomorrow.” You know she’s exhausted every ounce of creativity and purposefulness with every name plate, every Pinterest organizational idea, every word wall and responsibility chart.
Yet, the deliberate setup of our physical space is only a curtain. Pull it back and you’ll find a window to teachers who have connected physical space to learning space. You’ll find an intentionality between the learning space and the cognitive space in which we learn. In this week’s #TchLive, we’ll be discussing how we construct learning spaces — both physical and cognitive — to help students start the year with boundless potential. Whether it’s your idea for seating arrangements or the first words you use with your students this month, we’ll tease it all out.
If you’re anxious and want a head start, check out our Back-to-School Backpack for a plethora of videos and resources for classroom setup!
I’m excited to be cohosting this month’s chat with Kristin Gray. Can’t wait to see you there: Thursday, August 20, at 4:00 PM PDT.
Find previous #TchLIVE chats here.
Sarah Brown Wessling is a high school English teacher in Johnston, Iowa. She is the 2010 National Teacher of the Year, and is the Teacher Laureate for Teaching Channel. Connect with Sarah on Twitter – @SarahWessling.