Thursday, 24 September 2009


One of the key concerns of any teacher we meet when considering new learning spaces is storage. Teachers always want more storage for resources, supplies and then for many many things, that can only be called 'stuff'!

Many teachers are prolific hoarders because a range of 'stuff' really will come in useful one day". Touring a school recently, the dreaded tatty cardboard boxes, plastic bags and plastic crates emerged, full, overflowing, never used, firmly in place and never moving. I banned them lying around in my school years ago for this very reason. They never look good and start creating a tatty environment before we start.

During one design engagement, a teacher asked where her 29 filing cabinets were going to go. I'm sorry but no one can regularly use 29 filing cabinets. I am fairly certain that many contained 'stuff' that rarely saw the light of day.

This is an interesting conundrum as more and more schools, or senior teams at least, plan to go to almost all 'on-line' resources. There are now a number who have declared that books will be largely library based - everything else, resources etc, will be on virtual learning environments and work done on hand held devices eliminating the need for exercise books. This is probably the way forward in the 21st century. Therefore there will be less need for storage. I worry if all the staff in these schools have bought into the vision yet and how much support they will get for this big move. It is a massive step for many.

Seeing all the old boxes, bags and crates in the school I visited, I also did wonder what would happen if and when there was no room to 'carefully store' them. Especially as school staff become more mobile, more technologically dependent and have less access to their own dedicated rooms.

Will staff lose all their physical 'stuff', and if they do, will it be replaced with a special dedicated on-line site just for 'stuff' - even if it is 'virtual stuff'?'


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this comment.. teachers leave c**p everywhere... and we never use it...... it's just we hate chucking anything away. Stuff is too polite term for it really.

I've moved school fIn mom one where the Head was ruthless about it. My new school the Head does not even see it. It's grim.

Anonymous said...

so true

Anonymous said...

It's not always out fault - there just is not enough storage to put all the things we need. Anyway, I like my bags - at least know where everything is.

Anonymous said...

Try teaching in a Centre for Learning. There is no space to put anything down. There isn't even anywhere secure to leave your laptop.

Anonymous said...

the laptop comment is a serious point - the push about having technology means we have to look after it in every school.