This is a follow up to yesterday’s post: Doors. Look down the school hallway, and you’ll see door after door. But are the doors where we need them? Are the doors performing the correct function?
Last week, we were discussing a possible move to the third floor next year. As we looked at the map of the third floor, we realized that there were no connecting doors between the classrooms there.
My classroom has three doors. One door opens into the hallway, one door connects to a computer lab, and the other door connects to an adjoining classroom.
I have come to rely on doors connecting me to these rooms, to connect me to teammates, to connect me to my students. We have connecting doors between two of our computers lab, too. We have doors everywhere it seems. Doors that are almost always open as students flow between classrooms, work spaces, and computer labs. I can easily hear what is going on in other rooms or stand in a doorway to watch two rooms. We (teachers) often flow in and out of rooms during work times. Students do, too. The doors keep us and our students connected to each other.
If we moved to a different floor, we would need more doors. Apparently, it costs a lot of money to put in doors.
And it got me thinking. Why do we isolate ourselves within four walls and only one door? Why do high school classrooms not have connecting doors? I know our middle and elementary school classrooms have doors that connect to at least one other classroom. It seems strange that high schools would not have them.
Doors can keep people – and experiences – safe and sound inside the walls, but doors can also open us to people and experiences not available inside the confines of our classrooms. I think the trouble of missing doors on the third floor is a metaphor for missing doors to the outside world that rob our students of the connections they desperately need. Students need to see the relevance of what they are learning in the classroom. The best way to find relevance – to show our students the opportunities available in the world around us?
Open the door!
And if you need to, knock down a wall and make more doors.