Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Day 5: What I see and what I don't see in my classroom

I snapped this photo quickly this morning. I thought in order to respond to today's prompt, my classroom wouldn't be my classroom without my students.  It is a totally different space without the energy of the kids. Sort of like walking into an empty church or empty stadium. The quiet just feels too loud. So I hope my kids don't mind me including them.  After all, during our time together it is our room not mine.

The second half of this prompt really stumps me.  I take it as a possible wish list of sorts for the kinds of things I would like to see in my classroom. I have said before that I am see myself as lucky. There are times where I talk to teachers in other districts or in other states who can't believe some of the ways in which I am supported. From our culture to technogy down to our schedule, I know that I have so much provided for me professionally. To ask for more, seems a bit selfish to me. With the hand I've been dealt, I'll stick.

As for what I see? I see writing. Kids writing in their notebooks. Published writing of my former students hung up around the walls. Writing in the form of books that cover the numerous shelves in my room. Writing is at the center of this room.

I see technology that facilitates my instruction in order to be able to reach all the different types of learners in my room. From the Elmo, to the Promethean Board, to the projector to my Chromebooks, I have the gift of many tools at my fingertips. 

I see students sitting together with a selection of various types of seating available to ensure comfort as we work.  This is indicative of the importance of choice in my room. Students choose their seats and who they sit with; it is a struggle at times with 7th graders. I try to use it as one way to teach them the independence and responsibility that they crave. At the same time they are choosing what to write, whether to use my prompt or figure out their own topic.  They choose.

When I look at my room, I am proud of what I see. I have tried to create a space that I want to walk into each day. A place that students look forward coming to. I wonder though, what do you see?  What don't you see?


Nicole Sisto said...

I see students that have very strategically placed themselves in areas that they're most comfortable to write. Some are sitting in a futon, others in papasan-style chairs, some in desks, and what looks like someone sitting to the left at a high-top table. I encourage my students to do this all of the time, and yet I, as a writer, seem to always resort to the same places - in my classroom, in my house, and even at the local restaurant. To the degree that if it isn't Fall, Summer, or Spring I have a really hard time writing in my home because I am not sitting on the screened in porch. I am a creature of habit as a writer. I wonder if your students are as well?

Ms. Lehman said...

I see one student watching you as you took the photo. I wonder if he is easily distracted or just not ready to write? It makes me reflect on how writing, for me, has such a range of ease: sometimes it's easiest when I have an assignment or deadline, but sometimes I just can't muster up a good train of thought on the topic. Then there are times when I have neglected my personal writing so there is an overwhelming amount to get down, or I just can't express the idea or image to my satisfaction. In any case, I see a welcoming place conducive to whatever writing mood your students may be in throughout the year.

CRSB said...

Wondering, as I sit to respond a second time, as my first was not saved, how frustrating technology can be. Why didn't I copy what I had written? Should I have predicted a malfunction? Well, here it goes, one more time. I am wondering, given opportunities to write in class, if my fear of writing would have diminished? Would my mother (a brilliant foreigner who acquired English as an adult) still have had to spend endless hours with me editing and rewriting the mess I had put down on paper if I had time in class to sort things out? All my writing was done as homework. It was all completely and independently written. No bouncing ideas off others, teachers nor friends. It was a completely intimidating and horrifying experience for me. I wonder, had your environment been available to a student like me, would I have seen my potential as a writer? A way to get my mangled thoughts onto paper? I think that is what I see... potential. What I do not see is fear. All ideas are welcome. (Crossing my fingers for the "publish" to work this time!--- for the record, it didn't, but I had copied it! Third time!)

Anonymous said...

I see a classroom that I miss! And I see a year ahead of your students that will change their lives. I also see a classroom that is so very different from mine! The technology, the groups working together, the light flooding the room, the amount of space - I definitely didn't understand at that age how important these things are for learning, but now, standing in front of my own classroom, I am a little jealous of what I see. So when I look at this picture, I have to wonder what it is about our culture that allows diligent and dedicated teachers to create a space like that. There is a cultural aspect that we don't "see," but that is obviously there. I don't want to say that one culture is better than the other, but I wonder what could help my Indonesian teachers create a safe, comfortable, and engaging learning environment within the constructs of their own culture...