Tomorrow morning bright and early I am meeting a team over at City Neighbors Charter School  (CNCS) to launch “The Big Move.” We aren’t changing locations, we aren’t moving in – and we aren’t moving out – we are simply moving classrooms around inside our founding school.  Moving to a new space gives teachers a chance to focus on their own practices and beliefs, to consider the ideals of teaching and learning and then re-imagine the classroom space to match those ideals.

Now, as for The Big Move –  it goes like this: (I have to get it straight for tomorrow – so this is good practice):
The Library is moving to the Music Room. The music room is moving to the science room. The science room is moving into the old humanities room (and adding a Fab Lab to that space). The humanities class is moving into the old library.  The old math room is moving up to the 3rd floor, and our special ed team will have the old math room. Whew!

I will attempt to document the process and outcomes for The Big Move, here on this blog all the way through the first day of school.  I will share the ideas, the thinking, the materials, the cost, and the impact.

To begin, I give you Ms. Davis.

Before school ended I met with Ms. Davis, the humanities teacher, we stood in the new space – and imagined the work she would be doing with the students. We talked about what is important to her.

First, Ms. Davis talked about her teaching.  She would need space for the classroom library, small meeting spaces, and a spot for her desk (could it be near a window?). Next she imagined a big whiteboard – a whole wall – from floor to ceiling so groups of students could be coming up with ideas together at the same time. She mentioned quiet spaces (and we looked out in the hallway and decided it was great and she would feel comfortable sending kids out there too). And when we began to talk about her tables and chairs that were being moved up here she said, “What I really wish is that I didn’t have to have tables and chairs.” Cool! What would you have? “You know, I want my classroom to be like a big coffee shop, with couches and comfy chairs, coffee tables, and some kind of stage area.”

Ok, Ms. Davis. Lets give it a try. See you in the morning.