Do you have a large desk in your classroom?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Teacher's Desk Transformed into an Inquiry Space

I had a large teacher's desk within my classroom for the first five years of my teaching career.  Last year I decided to remove it, as it was taking up too much space that could be used for the children.  Once it was gone, I found to my complete and utter surprise that I was more organized!  My personal belongings were placed within the filing cabinet and on a higher countertop that the children could not reach.  The environment was free of clutter and supported our learning.

Although this seemed like the perfect solution, my teaching partner and I struggled to co-exist in the learning space that was designed entirely for the children.  It was after this realization, that I decided to create inquiry spaces to allow us to co-exist and learn together with the children.  These inquiry spaces had traces of student learning, pedagogical documentation, technology tools that support documentation, clip boards to make observational notes when working with the children, and any materials related or necessary to carry out our work on the specific inquiry topic.

The learning traces that I see each day within these spaces of our room, prove to me what the children are doing, saying, and representing.  They also make visible the educators interactions, decisions, and reflections.  My desk on the other hand, was a very private space that did not welcome visitors to read or touch my materials.

If you haven't already made the leap to remove your teacher desk, maybe it's something to consider!


  1. This is something that I have been thinking about doing for the last couple of months. Do you think that you could send me or post some examples of what you are talking about when you say inquiry space documentation? I am trying to get my head around what this would involve and would love to see how you do it in more detail.

  2. Hi Naamah,

    My next post will be about your question.

    Thank you for taking the time to ask!!