When I was in K-12 classrooms, we had rows of desks. They were facing the front of the class, where the focal point was a chalkboard. If I ever entered a classroom with a different setup, it felt refreshing, even inspiring. That's the idea behind flexible classrooms. Classrooms don't need a designated front, and they certainly don't need a chalkboard. Most modern classrooms have mobile technology making it easy to move the classroom around.
TEACHERS LOVE FLEXIBLE CLASSROOMS
STUDENTS RESPOND IN FLEXIBLE CLASSROOMS
Have you ever been in a classroom where students are engaged and excited to learn? Flexible classrooms encourage that. It allows teachers and students to collaborate on a different level. Scully says "We are learning what's best for kids and what we could be doing in the classroom. A flexible environment gives me the adaptability to respond to the new research and the new stuff that comes out as opposed to having my room set up a certain way." Scully admits students at Providence Day have become accustomed to it. "I think a lot of our students quite honestly take it for granted because they just expect the environment to meet their needs, so they are just moving stuff around." However, he acknowledges that if they've ever done collaborative work in an environment that's not built for it, then they appreciate the flexibility more.
FLEXIBLE CLASSROOMS HELP LONG TERM PLANNING
SMART Boards on mobile stands make sense for day-to-day use, but Scully says the no brainer is when it comes to long term planning. "The classroom is a 6th Grade English room this year, but because of our needs, it may be an 8th-grade math room next year. How do I make sure I'm not spending money every couple years moving the board or re-hanging the projector, or taking cable runs off the wall? This is just a beautiful solution in that the rooms aren't necessarily a particular room; they are whatever you need them to be." He says from a budget perspective it's the best thing you can do for your classrooms.