Summer of Learning (2018) #7 when less is more….not lazy
I’ll re-confess that sometimes my classroom pre-start setup was different than my neighbours. It was also nice to see a similar blog shared by @theweirdteacher http://hestheweirdteacher.blogspot.com/2018/08/on-setting-up-my-classroom-or-ourter.html
Because sometimes doing “less” isn’t lazy – it’s mindful.
Sure bright colours and Pinterest creations look great….to some. To others it appears as a foreign space where maybe they should look but not touch. Or a cavalcade of sights and sounds – with a reminder that even silence can be deafening.
There is a lot to say about keeping things simple and building the classroom together. Yes, this can mean giving up control, but the trade off is that everyone in the classroom knows why things are where they are! And for students with mental wellness challenges, this can make a difference. Another option consideration (knowing that many have already spent hours/days/years crafting their classroom is to consider even “blanking out” some spaces using paper/tarp/curtains etc – to create some “areas of interest” (what’s behind the curtain?!) but also “calming” the learning space.
This doesn’t mean classrooms stay/remain bland. It’s about being mindful, not lazy. It means that there are explanations and discussions – even my “chaotic rooms” aren’t problematic because so often the learners have set/adjusted the look and feel of the room.
After all, while it’s “your” classroom it’s “y’all’s” learning space.
And yes, I will be posting some signs et al around the school, but will be reinforcing the mindset of “adaption/adjustment/inclusion” to help all learners feel a connection and sense of ownership to their learning space.
Because while Pinterest has some amazing classroom setup ideas that I will continue to try to replicate, it will be done with the learning community, not to/for the learners. And I’ll also admit feeling some relief when others in the self-regulation community (independently) supported the practice I encourage. And I know it’s not easy (especially when the neighbour classrooms look like days of setup were spent – but…be mindful of your learners…and maybe try to keep “a corner” for a blank canvas for the students….give it a try….