What we built today: student workspace update

by Chad Sansing

The calico desk

The calico desk

A few weeks back, we had parent-teacher conference night. We spent several days refining our workspaces beforehand to get the room in order. While I imagine, hope, and plan to make time for the continued development of these spaces, I thought I would share out several of them as they are now.

From the first week of the year, we’ve been working to build our ideal workspaces with whatever storage and decoration we need to feel safe, at home, and energized in the classroom. We started with design sketches in our journals; then we began building with cardboard, class supplies, and anything else we wanted to bring from home. We start each day together around our main table, but there’s time nearly every day to work at our stations if we so choose.

Typically, 2-3 students split a larger workstation, 1 student from each “traditional” class period I have in my day.

Here are some of our more thoroughly executed and further-along designs.

The anarchist arch and postcards on a wire

The anarchist arch and postcards on a wire

The skate corner

The skate corner

Storage units of the world unite

Storage units of the world unite

Airbrush tower

Airbrush tower

The skydiver upon a McGuffin

The skydiver upon a McGuffin

A million things change from year to year, so I can only say this anecdotally, but I think that our time together at the main table is less fraught and that kids worry less about seats and working “alone” or “with a partner” than they did in years past because they know not only that they each have a home in the room, but also that they built their homes themselves. They have helped themselves meet their need to belong in what I hope is our needs-fulfilling classroom.

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