In my fifth grade classroom we had a Super Nintendo in the back of the classroom to be used at lunch (or on certain days when you finished your assignments early). At that point I started becoming aware of what I’d like to have in my classroom. My ten year old self would have liked a moat (and accompanying waterslide for easy access to the outside) but the more and more I think about it, as I’m on the path to becoming a teacher, there’s so much more than fun and games.
I love writing, and my setup at home (sort of in transition right now, as I don’t have space for a desk anymore) has to be conducive to writing. I like having my window open and the blinds drawn so I can ponder off into the streets and nature at the same time (sky and trees). I like playing classical music (sometimes movie scores to get me in certain moods, my favorite is from Last of the Mohicans) that can really get my fingers moving. I’m listening to it as I write this – I have been out of writing for it seems like weeks, and now I need to ramp it up. If I have the right feel, the creative juices can flow. I spoke with my cousin who is in the Masters program of Information Technology at UW and he had worked on a project on environments (or settings) for creative outlets. Everyone had different environments. Some wanted to be in a busy coffee shop, others in tranquil nature. Some had desks complete with everything they’ll need. Some needed silence. Some needed music.
Thinking now, about my classroom of the future, my students will have different needs and wants, and most certainly different environments they will excel in. I know I work great with classical music blasting as get in the zone, but not everyone is me. I’d like a classroom where students can move about and choose where they want to work – depending on what they’re doing. If they need to work alone or in groups, there needs to be space for that. My ideal room will be asymmetrical. It will have the tools they need, the space they need. The windows will be open, but there will also be a corner for focus. Music could be playing quietly somewhere.
There could also be a Super Nintendo in the corner. It will be an artifact by then, but it may find some use.