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The Evolution of Learning Environment

When I began my teaching career, just a little over ten years ago, I moved into a classroom with a big, clunky teacher's desk in the corner and a scattering of individual student desks in the middle of the room. One year later, the teacher's desk went out the door. I felt that it's massive size isolated me from the students, took up too much space in the room,  and to be honest...just became a junk heap of paper piles! In its place, a big round table began to occupy the corner of the room. It still served as my main teacher work space but it was also regularly surrounded by kids. This table became somewhat of a gathering space, a little like a kitchen table in a home. It felt more "right" to me.

The student desks also had their advantages. They could store A LOT of stuff (but also had junk pile potential) and could be configured and re-configured in many formations. I still felt, however, that they promoted an individualistic mentality in the classroom rather th…

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