The majority of schools have a teachers’ room. This special place is usually created with the teachers’ duties in mind. At the same time, it is also an indicator of the relations between the different members of the school community. If it is closed off from the students and a key or code is needed to open it, there is little chance of seeing good student-teacher cooperation. In a modern school, teachers’ room arrangement should emphasise cooperation and good communication. These values should be fostered by the teachers’ board, and in both teacher-student and teacher-parent relations.
Download ORGANISING THE TEACHERS’ ROOM and read the stories of Copenhagen (Denmark), Wrocław (Poland) and Poznań (Poland) schools concerning changes.
If we really see the school as a community of teachers, parents and students, the teachers’ room should take the form of an open place in which teachers can rest, meet and cooperate, and parents can visit teachers and ask about their children’s matters. In schools with electronic student records, the problem of unauthorised access to the contents of such records or other confidential documents disappears. For this reason, opening up the teachers’ room is not that risky. It should cease to be a restricted zone. With such a change, the school’s management and teacher team leaders have an important role to play. They have to decide whether the new teachers’ room is to become a place for sharing information, seeking inspiration and engaging in cooperation.
Quite often there is no place to sit in a larger group of people in the school other than by the desks in a classroom. The teachers’ room can become such a place, but usually isn’t. How to strengthen cooperation and boost teachers’ creativity? Can the physical space help us do this?
Download CREATIVE SPACE FOR TEACHERS and find out what changes were introduced by in one of the Berlin schools (Germany).
Every school should have a creative corner. Very often all of the free rooms in the school are used as classrooms. Very few schools can afford to convert a big room for such purposes. Nevertheless, some small spaces can be found that cannot be used for any other purpose. It is worth using them to enable teacher cooperation, meetings and discussions.