Saturday, 6 September 2014

Challenge Day 5: My classroom - what I see........

My classroom; What I see.....and don't see that I'd like to!

It's a little ironic that today's reflection encourages us to photograph our teaching space and share what we see on a daily basis when all I can see today is the four walls of my bedroom. However, I have enlisted the help of a student who has shared a couple of photos from her smart phone. Thank you Tatum

I actually teach in 2 spaces; a product design room, originally set up for soft materials but gradually transforming into a maker space that will encompass electronics and, as of yesterday, a 3D printer. The second space is a totally open plan space. The open space is part of a large open teaching space where at any one time there will be up to 3 other classes taking place.

Product Design room
What I generally see in the product design room

  • A room full of engaged students (well, most of the time!)
  • A busy, colourful space
  • Floor to ceiling windows that let the outside in (including native bush, school plaza and generally sunshine)
  • Untidy cupboards and storage spaces which I really MUST find time to re-organise. Next holidays? Exam week? Find some willing students (have been trying this one but no success - perhaps I should employ some design thinking strategies to make the task more appealing to students)?
  • Fabulous equipment and resources - great sewing machines, overlockers and even a cover seamer and embroidery machine. Plus tape measures, fabric scissors, pattern squares (my favourite tool of all time), old magazines, glue etc.etc. As I never, ever say no to any offers of fabric donations we have to find storage space for this too. You never know when it will come in handy!
  • Scraps of paper, thread and fabric all over the floor - a true sign of productivity. 

What I'd like to see in the product design room:-

  • A laser cutter and a 3D scanner. On the wish list.........
  • More electronics equipment and resources particularly for e-textiles (this is building slowly)
  • More boys......This is starting to happen as we are moving towards a broader product design approach. We introduced this approach this year and it brings a really vibrant dynamic to the learning environment. Students' product developments must incorporate soft and hard materials and at level 2 electronics too. It is great to see the gender distinctions in subject choice breaking down. The boys are intrigued by the sewing machines and really interested in learning more about materials(fabrics) and conversely I have some year 13's soft materials who are now dab hands at brazing
  • Tidy, organised cupboards, shelves and storage. We have the space we just need some reorganizing.....and the time to do it!
  • More students in the room during morning tea and lunch time because they are sooooo focussed on what they are doing
The open plan space -
This is a great space.....
  • We have the same outlook as the product design room (described above), only a level up.
  • We have the furniture and equipment required, though some additional software would be of benefit
  • We have a happy buzz of activity - even on a Friday afternoon
and the only thing I'd really like to see here is a better setup for the projector with a permanent ceiling projector rather than one that is precariously balanced on a plinth that needs to come out of the store room every lesson but this is a small price to pay!

On a final note....whilst teaching in an MLE does encourage collaboration, active learning and those other "21st Century" (I do dislike this term as we have been in the 21st century for over 14 years....) skills and pedagogies all that is really required, for us as teachers, is "switching on that part between the ears and embracing these changes". It can happen anywhere with whatever resources that are available.......

No comments:

Post a Comment