Yesterday our director and I had a conversation about promoting collaboration among staff members. As we were discussing what worked and what challenges we were facing, he pointed out something that I had heard before, but it never really resonated with me until now: to establish a culture of collaboration, the physical space at school needed to promote it otherwise we were going to fight an uphill battle.
It dawned on me how important architectural planning was to adopt a modern model of education that promoted communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. So what do you do when you strongly believe in 21st century education, but the physical layout of your school is counter-productive? Here are some suggestions:
- Group subject areas’ classrooms together: if all of the science teachers are working in the same area or share the same workroom (even better), collaboration is more likely to happen.
- Try to build a schedule so that a subject area’s teachers all have the same prep period or lunch block.
I really would like some input from you. Can you think of any more creative ideas to promote collaboration within the constraints of existing space?
To lifelong learning!