Near the end of the year last year, at the end of 2011-12, Keeler School started looking and planning on how we could turn the library into a real representation of the learning and that work going on at Keeler School every day. The space, as a learning place, held tremendous potential, but at the time was extremely chunky and blocked, with very little usable space for students, teachers or classrooms. So we came up with a dream…
- Having a space that represented the learning at Keeler School
- Creating a true learning space where kids wanted to be and learn
- Creating a learning space where multiple classes could utilize it at the same time (for more that just book exchange for 30 minutes a week)
In the spring, our Admin Team was able to look at our staffing placement and arrangement. We attempted to design and implement a school organization that supported teachers in engaging in not only designing excellent learning opportunities for students, but also working to develop and demonstrate and share excellent learning. For a digital 360 Panorama of the space and more information on the development, go to http://a3lc.blogspot.ca/p/keeler-commons.html
I think the biggest lesson we have learned through this process, which is still in early stages, is that this whole process depended less on the space and the furniture and the educational technology, that it did on the “people.” Our phenomenal staff was very open to possibilities and has completely bought in to how we can differently utilize the space for learning. As well, we have a Learning Commons Lead Teacher who is working closely with teachers in brainstorming planning and implementing innovative and engaging learning opportunities. Some of the work can be followed and engaged with at the collaborative blog at http://a3lc.blogspot.ca/
Other than the school reorganization around teacher responsibilities, we have not had the resources or the money to do a lot of physical rearrangements, such as new furniture, new technology, or new anything. The main resources that we were able to utilize to make this happen were a major rearrangement of the space, an amazing Learning Commons Lead Teacher, and a phenomenal staff who bought in and saw the potential of how a true Learning Commons could enable them in building their own capacity as excellent facilitators of learning.
Work hard, learn tons!