Effective Spaces for Teachers

When designing or renovating schools and classrooms, remember to create spaces that are effective and efficient for teachers
and their teaching.

One of my favorite sayings is "When the student is ready, the teacher appears." And when the teacher is ready, the students appear.
— Tom Callos


  1. Try to locate subject classrooms close together to give all teachers proximity to their department office and photocopier (while encouraging use of laptops and digital projectors rather than photocopiers and paper), preparation room, storage room, technical support people (where applicable), coffee machine.
  2. In addition to classrooms, teachers require a variety of support spaces. Noting that some of the following tasks require specialized rooms, and that trying to achieve too many of them in one "office" can lead to logistical, morale and confidentiality problems, teachers need places to:
    • configure and check equipment and materials that the students will need this week
    • gather thoughts, read, mark, plan and do other silent tasks
    • talk to a colleague (privately)
    • talk to a parent on the phone (privately)
    • talk to a student (privately, but in plain sight)
    • store equipment or materials that will not be used this term
    • leave a copy of a confidential document safely
    • give a make-up test
    • update online class communication or complete attendance records (both computer-based)
    • give/receive inservice training on department issues, materials or equipment

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