Many have enjoyed my previous space – the tech lounge at Fairlawn PS. This year I am at a new school and teaching a grade four homeroom. My goal in moving to a homeroom has been to recreate the type of environment I had created in the tech lounge. Someplace that feels like “home”, provides easy access to technology & other resources, and has a variety of spaces with options for sitting/standing/laying.
With no budget to furnish it, and only standard classroom furniture provided, I had to get creative. When I arrived to setup for the year, this is how the room looked:
With the help of our custodial team to track down some wanted items not being used elsewhere in the school (e.g., a carpet), a few trips to the Peel Creative Zone, repurposing existing pieces (e.g., the “teacher desk” became a sewing table), some hand-me-down furniture from home, and a trip or two to Ikea – I’ve managed to really transform the space.
I would love to have more comfortable seating such as couches and Hokki stools – but without a budget, those things weren’t feasible this time around.
A few weeks ago, I filmed a quick tour of my new classroom space. FYI, I filmed this after school and as such, the seating is stowed & stacked for the benefit of the custodians.
It’s a bit strange to watch this back now because even a brief time later, the room is already quite different – but you still get the general idea. In the time since, my students have started to take more ownership – for example, using the bulletin boards to coordinate their projects or plan upcoming spirit days. I also tinker quite a bit with the physical arrangement of different pieces in response to how students are using the space or needs that arise.
It’s fun to see the various reactions to the space from students, parents, and colleagues. The large majority are incredibly positive and there’s also naturally a lot of curious questioning, which I welcome and enjoy.