For this first post in our brand-spankin’ new back-to-school series, See You in September, let’s get real about creating a GREAT gathering space for teachers.
All schools have one of these so-called gathering spaces, though they go by many different names at different schools– the lounge, the work room, the resource room, etc. They can be good, they can be bad, they can be ugly… or they can be somewhere in between.
We were recently impressed with the efficiently organized, clean and calm Teacher Lounge at Harriet Tubman Charter School in New Orleans (though they give the caveat that it’s still a work in progress!).
Using their space as a model, we’ve come up with the following five essential elements in a Together Teacher’s lounge:
Information board. We all want a quick place to find out who is coming to visit, when birthdays are, and what announcements we may have missed. Love how this board is organized into clean, neat sections.
Good dose of inspiration! Shout-outs, kudos and other recognitions of others are front and center. Go, team, go! Check out the Shout-outs section!
Student progress tracked. We do our work for our students, so it makes sense to keep their goals front and center! Data is published for everyone to see.
Extra supplies for the taking. Staples, folders, pens, highlighters, Post-its, sheet protectors, and tape… All right here for you when you need ‘em. Bonus points for clearly labeling what goes where to ensure it gets returned or restocked.
LARGE and labeled teacher mailboxes. Size matters! Too many schools try to give teachers little file size mailboxes. But the truth is, we collect lots of “stuff” in there… supply deliveries, stacks of papers to distribute…maybe you even stash your coffee cup in there now and again!
Thank you to Harriet Tubman for letting us on the “inside!”
P.S. In case you were wondering about those dangling hearts all over the place, they are shout-outs for colleagues. Awesome.
Fun Contest Alert! Enter by Friday, June 14. Tell us something you’d love to see in your Teacher Lounge that would help make you more productive! What do you wish you had (or already have) in a perfect Teacher Lounge? Coffee pot, fancy stapler, water cooler to stay hydrated, a copier that runs 100 copies per minute?! Make sure you leave your first name and last initial. We will assemble all the ideas into one neat-o checklist for free download.
Two randomly selected winners (US only) will receive an AWESOME digital version* of Teach Like a Champion to help prepare for back-to-school. Description below.
Thanks to Jossey Bass (my publisher) for providing us with these copies!
*The world’s best-selling resource for teachers is now rebuilt for iPad, iPhone, and the web: The Complete Teach Like A Champion. The Inkling edition combines the original book with its indispensable companion, The Field Guide, into a fully interactive new resource for teachers everywhere. Watch 55 videos of real teachers in real classrooms using the techniques, do exercises right in the book, and tap on checkboxes to monitor your progress.