Saturday, July 21, 2012

My Ideal School

When asked to construct a picture of my ideal school and classroom, the following description came to mind: The school would have an aesthetically appealing buildout. Many schools appear to be reconstructed prison camps, for lack of a better reference, from the outside. I would like to create an environment that children and their parents enjoy visiting. The play yard will be outfitted with sports equipment and large, muck like the grass area at Mariners Church. We will also have a school garden. Not a priority, but live animals would b a great addition and connection for sciences across the grade levels. I don't have much of a preference on front office and classroom orientation, as long as all of the classrooms have access to the same technology and size. No portables on the other side of campus. As far as the inside of the classroom is concerned, the student desks would be LARGE. Not in terms of storage area, as little will be permitted to be 'stored' away inside the desk, but a large workspace. The students would sit in collaborative groups. My class size would be 15 students - small enough for individual focus, yet large enough to create a classroom community. The classroom rules would be agreed upon in a democratically modeled process at the onset of the school year. The classroom will promote the democratic environment for voting, participation on every given school day. Each week would introduce a new community or global issue and the students will be given time in a small group, as well as whole class to propose solutions for the issue by the end of the week. Technology would be threaded into the curriculum. By 4th grade, students will be laptop based in a partially flipped classroom. The idea would be not to lose the students who just aren't doing the work at home, entirely. Technology will be understood as a supportive tool for their learning, as well as an enhancement to the preexisting features, such as in the area of reading. The students will also be instructed on the curriculum for technology such as introduction to tools, software an applications for their productive use as well as in the area of coding, for website development. The students will each use a blog as their classroom, interactive journal. Parents will respond to their blog posts on the forum. Eventually, I would have website coding threaded into the writing curriculum for students. Throw out cursive hand writing instruction and toss in keyboard shortcuts and typing skills. The students will leave the classroom each day with their chin up; they feel their time has been valued and they have learned more they can DO with once they leave the classroom. In my ideal classroom setting, I will be a favorite among the students. An approachable mentor. An inspiring teacher.