As many people know, my teaching partner and I capture a lot of learning during the school day, and share it through my Twitter page. We then put all of these tweets together in our Daily Shoot Blog Post. This is a way to share learning with parents, but also reflect on this learning during the school day. The process of tweeting, also causes me to sit back, often re-watch videos, or re-look at photographs, and see things differently. Sometimes these personal reflections lead to conversations throughout the day with my teaching partner. Sometimes they act as my reminder to “speak less” and “listen more” (I can always use the reminder 🙂 ). Sometimes they cause me to see a developing interest, and even use that period when my partner is on her lunch, to look at some of this documentation with the class and provoke some different — or evolving — thinking in the afternoon. All of the students know that I tweet. They’ve almost all looked at our class blog with their parents at home, and they often ask us to share specific examples of their learning through this blog. The blog is important to them. It’s important to us too, and the process of blogging and tweeting often helps me self-regulate: it’s both seeing those positive moments and writing about my thoughts that make me feel calm. And it’s this self-regulation component of blogging and tweeting that led to my little “office” in the hallway.
While I just started teaching at a new school this year, I think all of the staff members, some of the parents, and most of the students have gotten to know me because almost everyone can find me, for at least 48 minutes a day, sitting in this little corner of the hallway right by the front doors.
I have the radiator for a desk, the floor for a chair, and a little peaceful time for reflection. Best of all, the wifi signal in this area is perfect for uploading photographs and videos. You see, in certain areas of the classroom, I seem to run into problems, and I realized recently that it really stresses me out not to share photographs, videos, and work samples until I get home. Then I’ve lost the opportunity to reflect on some of this work with my teaching partner and with our students during the day. I also feel behind with organizing and sharing our daily blog post, and this just causes me more stress.
After a couple of days at the very beginning of the year just living with this stress, I stumbled upon this wonderful work world right outside our classroom door. Sometimes I spend some time on my prep sitting down, watching, and sharing media. Sometimes I spend one of the nutrition breaks. I see and talk to many people as I sit here. I know that many wonder why I spend my time here. I’ve shared about the wifi connection. I’ve explained that I like to upload and share photographs and videos during the day. But this afternoon, as I finished my last upload minutes before the end of the nutrition break, I felt so good knowing that our sharing was up-to-date and remembering what a great day it’s been.
A little corner in the hallway may not be for everyone, but thinking more about why this space matters so much to me, made me realize how important it is to give students and staff a chance to find those different spaces that work for them.
- Maybe it’s a standing desk.
- Maybe it’s a beanbag chair.
- Maybe it’s a quiet table facing the wall.
- Maybe it’s a computer desk.
- Maybe it’s a little nook, off in the corner, on the floor.
My little space helps me reflect, it makes me feel calm, and it’s always the perfect prelude to another happy part of the day. What’s your space? How do you give children a chance to find theirs? Tonight I feel grateful for being a part of a school that supports me as I sit in my little corner of the hall.