Even when I am not working Monday-Friday, weekends continue to have something special about them. After critical mass and the sunset at Lake Eola with good friends last night, this Saturday morning, Ben and I played soccer with our community group. It has been a while since I have put on my cleats and played a game like this morning, and it made me so grateful for muscle memory, and my upbringing in soccer, because it was such a fun morning! Tonight, Ben and I have another summer wedding and I always enjoy romantic evenings with my husband while celebrating such an incredible gift!
This week, I spent a lot of time with children under the age of 7, not only did I enjoy being “ young again” :), but it made me miss my classroom and seeing the beautiful students I teach everyday.
Since I was missing my job as a teacher this week, I decided to pick up a book recommended to me by my teacher-friends. This book is called Teaching with Intention. The first chapter focused on having a picture in your head what your ideal classroom sounds and feels like. I can easily picture my ideal classroom in my head ( I actually think about it all the time), but getting it to a place where it actually exists often sounds like way too much work, my mind gets overwhelmed, and it is easy to checkout and think about something different. This book allows me to stop and minimize what may be the MOST important and I thought I would share my responses with all of you and ask you to share your opinions as well!
How does your ideal classroom look, feel, and sound?
My ideal classroom is calm, organized, and structured with a clean and clear layout. I want to have different sections of the room and I want each section of the room to be clearly defined. I want enough visuals to help students understand the different sections of the room, but not too many to where it looks overwhelming. I want the walls to be filled with lots of colors ,student work, and evidence of learning. I want students to have opportunities out of their seats, more than they do in their seats.I want to see lots of students smiling and celebrating their successes.My ideal classroom does not sound perfectly quiet all day. Although that would be nice, I think it is impossible and I believe a learning environment needs a little buzz to it. I hope the noise come from students collaborating and trying to communicate to one another and the teachers.
What are the teachers and para-professionals doing?
In my ideal classroom, my job is to help my students continue to gain the skills they’ll need to be independent in my classroom and outside of my room. My role is to introduce new concepts and materials and structure opportunities to interact and practice these new skills. I hope to have organized stations everyday where the para-professionals can help me practice and record these concepts being taught to them.
What aspects of your ideal classroom do you need to work on?
I often notice that a lot of my ideas require shopping and buying things to help me organize. I am not a fan of shopping or spending money. If I had all the materials I needed to easily create all of the things that would help me, it would be a lot easier. I hope to make a list of ways all the things I would need to create this type of environment, and eventually make the investment before the summer is complete. Someone hold me accountable!
What books are you reading this summer? How would your ideal classroom look?