What is in a space?
At our place, our buildings may be a little older than others, but it is what you find on the inside that counts. Not only is our community varied, but our classroom and learning environments are also varied, oftentimes reflecting the teachers, teacher aides and students that you find in them. It is not a ‘one size fits all’, and this is how it should be.
For this #EdblogNZ challenge, I chose to focus not on my office, instead, I wanted to show a snapshot of our whole learning environment.
What I like best about our learning environment is how much of it is co constructed alongside our students. I love how you can go from one room to another, and each space is set up to cater for the students that live inside.
If we had an unlimited budget, then I can imagine that our team could create an amazing learning environment with all manner of nooks and crannies, much of which would be co designed with our students and our community. However, despite the lack of an unlimited budget, we are still able to utilize what we have and new furniture to create interesting learning spaces. ‘Stuff’ (and I have blogged this before which you can read here) does not make great learning opportunities – people (as in the teachers and the students) do! A lack of a futuristic learning environment did not stop us from having an ‘alien landing’ or bringing in snow. All that required was a willing mindset and a firm belief that behind great learning is engagement and fun! That is right – FUN! It is because we know how to bring learning alive for our students that I am confident that if we had the funds to dream big – you would see one of the best learning environments in the galaxy!
In the meantime, hats off to the team for creating fabulous learning without all the fancy bells and whistles! To all those teachers and leaders who year for what the other schools have, remember this – all you need is your vision and some ingenuity. I think sometimes, the fact that you are able to be creative with what you have means that you are far more innovative than the fancy ‘modern’ classroom that still shuts its doors!