A place to feel professional

Might professional learning be more impactful if we had a place to go and work that made us feel valued as professionals?

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Obligatory interior design commentary from the interior designer ;-)

Most educational spaces are not designed for the adults who live and work in these spaces. The few spaces which are distinctly set aside for them (Teachers Lounges) are often an afterthought - and typically filled with discarded, hacked, broken, and re-purposed items.

Could professional learning be made more impactful - or might teachers be more willing to engage in it - if they had a place to go to work, learn, and collaborate with peers that made them feel like valued professionals?

I would be really interested in learning  from all of you:

What kinds of interactions do you envision might happen within them?

Where should these spaces should be located?

What might they look like?

What would you want to find within one?



Join the conversation:

Photo of Elsa

Hi Chris, 

I'm struck by the observation you make that most educational spaces are not designed for adults. I wonder how we might make schools places for learners--children and adults. How might we design spaces that engage the lifelong learners in all of us, regardless of age? 

I'd love to think more about this idea with you. Would you be interested in collaborating? 

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If you want to take this offline- shoot me an e-mail cgood@oneworkplace.com
Otherwise we can do it here for all to share as well.

I don't think the failure to recognize adults is purposeful - I think it is an honest omission due to the deserving focus we put on students. But it is a harmful one, because if you cant meet the teachers basic needs (and space impacts us on all levels physically -emotionally - mentally) - it is going to severely impact his/her ability to reach students.  

Imagine a version of Maslow's Hierarchy for teacher needs!  When you feel like a respected professional - you are far more willing to invest in your own professional growth and behavior.

lately in the business world work space design has become a battle cry for organizations looking to attract and retain talent. Getting great people to join or stay with an organization takes a lot more than cool offices - but the tone set by bad or dysfunctionaly designed ones can be devastating. 

What does that say about education space  - when its workplace was designed with the people working within it as an afterthought.

Photo of Elsa

Hi Chris, 

Completely agree!! Your point about the need to create environments that respond to teachers' needs and reflects their professionalism is reminding me of Leslie Ihrig 's post about the need to rethink teacher compensation models to reflect their degree of professionalism and hard work. https://teachersguild.org/challenge/how-might-we-reimagine-professional-learning-so-that-we-continue-to-grow-feel-inspired-and-have-impact-in-the-lives-of-our-students/ideas/teachers-are-professionals-so-let-s-compensate-them-accordingly

I've just started a Google doc for us to work on building out the idea further. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1JBVsUy1XkL62k60meOpaYckdT00lWbcSIMLMUC52cfo/edit?usp=sharing

Photo of Chris

Thanks Elsa, I am all on it.
Give an invite to Trevor Croghan  as well, he is working on a similar idea!!!

Photo of Elsa

Oo, excellent!! I'm excited to see this evolve! 

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