On my first visit to my new classroom this summer when I walked into the room one of the first things I noticed was my very own large teachers desk. Now I’m not quite sure why but my first instinct was to discreetly get rid of it and use the space for other things. And so it was that my classroom would start to evolve.
I didn’t do anything about my desk until I had carted all my stuff in and had started arranging tables. I knew I wanted at least two seating spaces for reading/working where students could just stretch out and work. This is version 2 of my teachers desk:
After about 20 mins cleaning and organizing I decided I didn’t like this configuration. The configuration said to me “My Space” and “Your Space” and considering I want my classroom to be “Our space” I felt it didn’t send the right message for me. That space is just too tight for more than one fourth graders little body never mind two! So I changed it up again!
This time I think I’ve found a version that works. I hung up some fabric in front of the desk where my legs would go so I can stash some stuff away easily. The filing cabinets are for me to store stuff in and a draw or two are soon going to house file folders for students to put work in.
The students also love the extra space where they can chill out and read or work. It’s the kind of space where they feel like the are in a private space but I can always see and know what they’re up to. They stretch out and do what is natural!
Students questioned why I didn’t want a teacher desk and when I replied with “I don’t want to sit there I want to be with all of you during the day”, they all looked at me understandingly and accepted my reason. Since the first day my teacher chair has been adopted by students as a soft spot to sit and is coveted during work time so the students share and take turns sitting in it. Out of the frame there is a hexagon table where I can work with students if we need a work table.
One other thing I might add. Having a space of my own in such a public space means I have to keep it organized. No crazy piles of paper or supplies.