- Concern that “teacher collaborative spaces” where students are wandering through (to find teachers or get to their classes) will lead to 1) students hanging out where confidential information is being processed 2) students loitering and distracting teacher work 3) students overhearing confidential conversations 4) student vandalism, etc.
Teacher collaboration space is intended for teachers only. Students would not wander through to get to their classes or be trying to find teachers; they would find teachers in a classroom when the teacher was about to teach or had finished teaching. Additional small group space will also be available for individual teacher/student meetings or other types of collaboration.
- Concern that by having “collaborative teacher work spaces,” having teachers changing rooms, as well as small areas where students can go to for group projects will lead to difficulty in student supervision.
Direct classroom instruction coupled with small group work outside the room has been practice for decades. Added transparency in walls and larger hallways with dedicated student collaboration spaces only enhances the opportunities for students, and increases the ability of teachers to see and supervise their students.
- Concern that having teacher desk/materials in “collaborative” areas will not allow teachers to bring everything they need to every class (inferring that teachers who use many props and materials will be using rolling carts). A related concern is that teachers would not have access in the classroom to supplementary materials, re-teaching materials or contingency lesson plans.
Classrooms will be built with storage space so that teachers need not haul materials from their workstations to their rooms but instead have materials in the rooms where needed. With increased use of technology in “smart” classrooms, teachers have less need of props and materials needing transport.
- Concern that crucial information such as calendars, learning objectives, due dates, instructions will not be able to be posted in a large, clear, non-screen format.
For the past five years, ALL secondary teachers have been provided with Canvas (learning management system) accounts and expected to post such information as calendars, due dates, learning objectives, instructions and other related course information on that site to be accessed by both students and parents. Classroom spaces will still have the ability to be personalized based on use and other parameters.
- Concern that the current design ideas are pre-supposing that most or all teaching/learning should be electronic (not leaving options open for physical interaction with paper and pencil, not leaving options open for teachers who prefer to grade hard copy texts and not leaving options open for those individuals with screen-related migraines or Iran Syndrome – the overload of stimulus of high-contrast black and white patterns.)
The classrooms we have seen reflecting current design ideas are inviting, stimulating, comfortable and often reflective of student work and creativity. Student comments on those environments have been 100% positive.
- Concern that a fully technology-based system will be unusable in a power outage or technology malfunction.
Current design descriptions have never suggested an “all technology-based system” of education. It is, however, reasonable to assume that most students currently incorporate technology into their social and family lives, and they ought to expect the same of their educational experience.
- Concern that if students are issued a one-to-one technology device they will forget to bring it, the battery will be dead, it will be in their car, etc.
See answer above. Students today tend to be more responsible for their phones, devices and other personal technology than they are their hardback textbooks, binders, etc.
- Concern that the design team is not correctly prioritizing the recruitment and retention of quality teachers.
Teaching in the new Skyline High School will certainly be an incentive for attracting teachers with the highest MGPs (Median Growth Percentile) and demonstrated academic success in the district. Many intuitively embrace the building design and flexibility we describe and would love to be in a facility that supports current and forward-thinking instructional practice.