I attended a presentation by the leadership team of a brand new school that will be opening in Flat Bush next year. While sitting and listening to the presentation, my mind was juggling a multitude of thoughts and ideas. Firstly I was fascinated by our need to constantly rename and reframe what we do as educators. The principal is now a Leader of learning and teachers/educators are learning coaches. I am used to hearing about modern learning environments but this school wants to be an innovative learning environment – an ILE not MLE. I have recently visited Hingaia Peninsula School and I have been to Stonefields. There are decisions to be made about what we call the learning spaces – hubs or studios or something else? I came home inspired to look at all this more carefully and so jumped on the net.
To me one needs to think about how we (by this I mean students and teachers) manage learning as well as where the learning will take place but of course what we are going to learn is equally important. So I began to reflect that my Student Planner approach manages the routine of learning – maybe I need to look more closely at where we learn. Already my students move around and find the best learning environment for them but maybe I need to be even more adventurous. Attending a BOT workshop a few months ago, I heard that the difficulty for Catholic Schools is how to try to achieve a modern learning environment in existing buildings. So that got me to thinking – how can I manage my existing environment – maybe I can join with the classroom next door. Our two classrooms are connected with a wet room and a cloak bay. What if we turned the shelving in the wet room into work space and then put down a carpet in the Cloak Bay and put in bean bags and this became the reading area – possibly fitting in a kidney table for reading groups. So I emailed a colleague, set up a shared google doc and our creative juices are flowing.