Here we are, at last. Honestly, I didn’t think I would get here. It’s all so bright… and white. However, we are here and sometimes, that’s all it takes.
Like a student on their first day of kindergarten, here I am, typing my first blog on exactly what I want to think, read, write and change for the rest of my life. School environments.
It’s been a long time coming but over the summer break I’ve realised that is what makes me tick.
I’ve known that I want to work with students and in the education space for quite some time, but there are so many different areas that could take someones fancy within education.
I’ve had a bent about communities being engaged with their schools for the past few years. When starting Raising Hope Education Foundation I was inspired by the work of Citizen Schools and the School Volunteer Program. I love the discussions between teachers like Betty Chau and Jason Borton on Twitter and the arguments people have over dinner tables about which is the best school for their children.
I’m fascinated by the work of Teach for All and Students First and the discussions and debates they have with teachers unions. Teacher training and quality is obviously what makes the biggest difference, but while it is important and interesting… that still doesn’t make me tick.
What I love, is a school environment.
From the moment I walk into a school to the moment I leave, I am constantly looking, listening, analysing and judging the school environment. From the ring of a school bell at lunch time to the trophy cabinet in the front of school reception, the paint, a classrooms layout or those tacky motivational posters you find hanging on the wall of the school counsellor, how a school looks, feels and how this impacts learning is what I find most intriguing and exciting.
But it’s not just the visuals or the architecture.
I also love the way a school feels and it’s community. The environment teachers have manufactured and how that impacts students is so fascinating to me.
School environments might not be as important as a good teacher, but I know it makes a difference. If we want to give our kids the best chance to believe in themselves, gain confidence and feel worthy you need a good school environment too.
As Julia Gillard once said, ‘a good teacher can teach under a tree, but we shouldn’t expect them to.’ We also shouldn’t expect students to study environments that don’t support and encourage their learning journey.
This is what I want to spend my life learning about and hopefully improving.
So naturally, Eduvironment will be about the schools I visit, school environment ideas I hear about or things I’ve read. Hopefully there will be some discoveries you might find interesting too.
If you have any articles/ blogs I should read, things I should know about or generally have some advice for my Edu-Quest please email me on email@example.com or tweet me at @Ben_Duggan.
And now I’ll leave with my dream school environment…