It’s hard to know what your students will truly need in their space. So many people keep telling me I shouldn’t have too much furniture or I should have a shelf bolted to the floor or don’t put anything out on the shelves or on the wall…To know that people truly feel this way about my 5 and 6 year olds I haven’t even met yet breaks my heart. They are 5 and 6. They are children. They deserve a learning environment that embraces them as children and supports them as children. And all the while that I am planning to create that the naysayers’ nagging words echo in the back of my head and I worry; am I being naive? Are they at all right?
It’s hard going into a teaching job that I have some experience with on the preschool level but no experience with on the public school level. There are so many things I do not know and right now I can’t see how I will learn all those things in my 8 hour work day. But I am forging ahead with setting up the furniture and putting the toys and curriculum supports in my locked closet with plans of teaching them how to use these things so that eventually they can remain on shelves in the classroom.
It is all starting to take shape. There is a calming area, an area for some direct teach by the chalkboard, an area for group, and tables set up for centers. I also have put in a dramatic play area which I feel is extremely important but I am pretty sure other K and 1st grade teachers do not have one in their classroom.