Day 89 (of 187) my office….
My office gets some weird looks. This years is weird to me because it still has a desk in it. I don’t like desks. They retain clutter. And while I don’t mind clutter (if a cluttered desk reveals a cluttered mind what does an empty or blank desk indicate….) I do like to be more of a minimalist at work. And flat tables remind me of the way offices used to be: principal on one side, student on another.
But I like to re-conceptualize how “the office” is used. I love how @adamfgoldberg (the original Adam Goldberg) portrays school in the 80s and 90s in his television series. Sometimes intimidating, “the office” remains a place inhabited by adults as much as students; some wanting to “sMother” some just hoping to get out as fast as possible. So,stokes the principal is mysterious – how did they get to be who they are – why would they want to (hint: it’s all about relationships). But I grew up with a dad who saw his office (both space and title) were a place to solve problems; where learners were always welcome, even if he/me is not there at the moment. It can be a safe place…. It’s why I add some self regulation tools around it – and most important of all….time. I never rush a student during a visit. Sometimes think time is vital.
It’s why my daughter asked me to take some photos of my office to show her friends…..
It’s also interesting that today a staff member shared that she likes sitting in my office chair (a found barber chair) because it gave her a different perspective of the metaphorical and literal view I have….
Admitting that too often she was on the “other side” way too often. The principal liked her but sometimes the rest of school…..facing suspensions as she figured out a way to connect with learning….
Because the history of ‘the office’ is not what it’s future should be…
The office is here I will overhear conversations about “classroom learning being disrupted by ‘that one'” which preps me for an upcoming discussion – and I’ll have to modulate my inside voice for that one. Inclusion means all…. (and a door that appears closed may not always be closed all the way…) and my office will always be a sanctuary for a reset, a vent, a quiet space or a space with noise. Not everyone is happy to come in, but I’m trying to make it more meaningful as to why we have such a space.
But I’m happy that my staff member today confirmed that my office does have a different vibe than what she remembers…. and I know the kids I work with feel that we work together (and if the door is closed….they can even use some questionable language and not get in trouble….) and that they will be heard as we solve problems and we can work together to enhance the personal learning journey for all!