Posted on August 28, 2017
A student-centered teaching environment shifts the focus from the teacher to the student. It also sets the stage for active participation on the part of the students and requires that they monitor their own thinking.
So, finding ways to design a learning experience that will tap into what students value means designing a space that provides a learning environment that will best address their needs. Several teachers in our middle school have made a conscious decision to address one fundamental question: what does my classroom environment communicate?
For our brave and adventurous teachers who looked this question squarely in the eyes, there was a realization that demanded a few fundamental changes. Rethinking classrooms that are truly student-centered meant: removing the teacher's personal effects from the walls to allow student work to be displayed; abandoning the traditional desks and rows to allow for meaningful collaborative work, and opening floor space providing the opportunity to complete assignments in a more relaxed environment.
While change is not always easy, our middle school teachers who have already redesigned their respective classrooms around the needs of their students have demonstrated their level of commitment and focus to a student-centered environment. I am encouraged by and applaud the willingness of these teachers who have embraced this change.