My students think I am addicted to Dr. Pepper. I'm not gonna lie, I like it a lot. But I have always been the kind of person who gets wrapped up in things, some might say addicted. I crave Torchy's Tacos, Daiquiri Ice ice cream from Baskin & Robbins, and Great American Cookie Company Cookie Slices (and they come in double slices, too!). I get addicted to shows like Friends and Lost, and I really like Batman stuff.
But lately, I have found a new addiction.
As I have been working on my Coffeehouse classroom, I find myself thinking about it. A lot. I find excuses to steal a few minutes away while shopping with the family to scout cool stuff for the room. Last night, I was at a Student Council Lock-in, and when I would run to my room to get stuff for the event, I would take a couple minutes to adjust and tweak and repair. This morning, while the students were waiting to be picked up, I hung decorations and made adjustments. I constantly have ideas of how make things just a little more...perfect.
I am passionate about this project, and the ramifications it could have not only on how I manage my classroom, but how I shape instruction and how students learn. I want to take play around with the best practices and placements of signage, and how to arrange the seating. I already feel like this might not be set in stone when day one rolls around. And that $150 budget? That was just for the initial, right? Cuz I have lots of cheap little additions I can still pull off...
Now imagine if our students were as excited about exercising their creativity.
How would it change the way we teach if students looked at the information they were to work with, and said, "I cannot stop thinking about how to keep digging into this!"?
My goal with this classroom design was never just about the look. It was about developing an entire culture around the way my students will learn. While they sit at a "coffee bar" or in couches, each day they will start not with "Bell Work," but with Coffee Talk- a student led discussion over the topics of the day before, utilizing the research done by the facilitating student. We will be seated in a way that promotes conversation, and mobility. The lighting will not be stark florescent, but instead it will be soft and relaxing. Students will have their phones, so instead of fighting that, I will use it to promote the learning with daily hashtags for Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. I will even Storify the Twitter when there is enough traffic. I have a couple designated spots to display student work. The students will "order" the sequence of units each six weeks.
I am addicted to my classroom design because I find it exciting, invigorating, and new. I want more, because I want to break new ground.
The culture I hope to build with my room is one that is passionate and contagious, and I cannot wait to see my students share my addiction to creativity.
And learning in general.
I teach Psychology, Sociology, Communication Applications and Debate at College Station High School, as well as coach the debate team and co-sponsor Student Council. I am an aspiring administrator.