Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Family & Parenting
  3. Family

The Wall

See also

I’ve recently felt like the lad who lunches. In preparing to move to North Carolina to start my new teaching position, in between runs to Bed, Bath and Beyond and stopping at Mrs. Green’s for a freshly made beet, carrot and lemon juice, I’ve been trying to catch up with as many of my friends and family in Connecticut as possible before I leave on Monday.

While dining one night with friends and family at Bartaco in Westport, my friend Iain introduced me to Bob, a friend and teacher from Weston who teaches junior high school. We exchanged teaching experiences and discussed the teaching practices of Montessori and Steiner. Then Bob introduced the concept of ‘the wall’ to me. “It has to do with how you structure the classroom,” Bob said. “As children grow, you gradually allow the classroom to grow with them. It can’t be too big or too small.”

I considered Bob’s words carefully, and concluded that they made sense, in both literal and figurative terms. From a teacher’s standpoint, we physically arrange our classroom to create a space that will encourage classroom participation, exploration, and safety. We use our surroundings, coupled with developmentally appropriate learning materials, to teach our students about cause and effect, counting, fractions, colors and Shakespeare. But we can’t do this in a broom closet any more easily than we can at a Chuck E. Cheese’s. We have to find and make use of a space that fits the bill for our objective.
Of course, as any teacher can tell you, there is not a one-size-fits-all method to this. We experience an ongoing education in the art of trial and error when it comes to the physical use of space. One year we may have students who like to run around the classroom even more than the previous year. So we arrange the furniture in such a way that it discourages running. Or we might find that because we have less students in our room than the year before, it might be better to arrange the desks in a circle rather than in rows, so that the first row of desks is not constantly empty.

There are many ways we can make good use of our space, both at school and at home. How do you, as a teacher, parent, or both, use your space at school and at home to best suit your students and children?

Advertisement

Life

  • Dead babies found
    Seven dead babies were found in Utah resident Megan Huntsman's old home
    Video
    Shocking Discovery
  • Kendall Jenner
    Get the Coachella looks: Kendall Jenner’s nose ring, green hair and edgy nails
    Camera
    Coachella Look
  • Dog's Easter basket
    How to fill your dog’s Easter basket with the perfect toys
    Easter Basket
  • Rabbit owners
    Bringing home the bunny: Important information for rabbit owners
    Camera
    7 Photos
  • Haunted island
    The world’s most haunted island may soon be the most haunted luxury resort
    Haunted Resort
  • Sunken ferry
    Search continues for missing passengers after a ferry sinks off the South Korean coast
    Video
    Sunken Ferry

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about Examiner.com and apply today!