For the last three years we have had one room in our department set up in group mode. This year, I have decided to conduct all my classes in this way. Although I don’t have access to the modern furniture I blogged about in Space to Learn (see below), I can reconfigure all of the rooms into which I am timetabled.
This week I reorganised the desks in the room where I have Years 12, 11 and 9, after consultation with all of the other teachers who use the room. It is a small space (but air-conditioned – thank God) so I removed all the desks which were not required and placed the remaining into five groups. Immediately the room seemed larger, with enough space for both the students to move around when we are operating in varied group formations, and for me to assist students with tasks and task focus. I will also continue a practice I began years ago, and avoid the traditional teaching zone (the front of the room).
It may resemble a K-6 school classroom, but I wonder when we Secondary school teachers thought that was such a negative?