This week’s #EdublogsClub prompt asks us to share insights about our learning spaces and processes, including tours of our classrooms, offices, and work spaces.

I smiled when I read it, because I planned to share a bit of news this week via my blog, and that news fortuitously intertwines with this week’s prompt.

I remember my first years of teaching…. “decorating” my classroom was one of my favorite school year preparation activities. I loved sharing inspirational posters, bright colors, inventive bulletin boards, and creating spaces where my students could post and share their own work. Desks were in groups or in pairs or we used tables, and my earliest years of teaching sixth and fifth grades are among my favorites in my career! My classrooms were beyond colorful, beyond cluttered, and if I had the chance to do it over today, I’m sure I’d make some changes.

My 2001 Classroom!

I inherited the principal’s office from my predecessor and it served as a functional workspace. In my second year I decided to move my office to a more central location in the intermediate hallway and this larger space afforded me the chance to personalize it and make it an enjoyable space for kids. The putting green, basketball net, bookshelves filled with kid lit, and beanbag chairs were put to good use! I loved being out of the “main office” area and in the heart of the school.

As an instructional technology coach, I used a desk/counter space/table in the hallway in each of the elementary buildings I served, and my classrooms were the teachers’ classrooms!

Well, the time has come where I no longer have an office in a school, or a classroom space that is my own. For the past year I’ve been on leave from my school district after the birth of our daughter, and last week I submitted my resignation.

While on leave I’ve had the great privilege of developing my skills as a consultant, most notably with Kiker Learning offering Google for Education trainings on a variety of instructional topics to a broad range of participant audiences. Professional development is truly my passion. I absolutely loved that aspect of the principalship: designing… facilitating… watching teachers learn and grow…. and before I moved into administration I enjoyed learning alongside my teaching colleagues.

As anyone who has raised two young children knows, these moments are fleeting. I can’t thank my husband enough for supporting my work in this way and affording me the opportunity to stay home with our babies. Serving as a consultant allows me the flexibility to do so while also continuing to learn and serve schools. It is truly an honor to work with so many dedicated teachers, administrators, students, and staff members across the Northeast. I’m thrilled about what’s next and can’t wait to see where future opportunities take me!

My home has now become a place that needs to support my creativity and productivity, whether it’s at my office desk, in the family room, or at the kitchen bar island. I can say that working from home is one of the most difficult challenges I’ve faced in my career! It’s even more incredible trying to find a home-work balance when your work is often done in your home!

I can’t wait to see the variety of different spaces where I’ll work and learn this year. Every school, classroom, teacher, principal, and student I have the chance to interact with strengthens Maybe it will be in your classroom, school, or district?! 🙂

To learn more about opportunities to learn with me, visit the Hilt Consultants, LLC website or the Work with Me page of my blog.

Thanks for reading!

14 comments on “The Spaces Where I Learn and Work

  • Congrats Lyn. I must say that getting out to different schools and appreciating the choices made in regards to learning environments has been one of my favourite things as a coach. It is something of a privilege.

    • Thanks, Aaron, I too love visiting so many different learning environments and working with a diverse range of teachers and learners. They teach me so much too!

  • Hi there ! I’ve also have decided to take a shot at this #edublogsclub challenge. (https://goo.gl/d2Kxx5)
    I am interested in taking that leap into consulting, but leaving the school I work for now it’s kind of a tough decision. I probably begin the transition doing both, so keeping my actual position and start offering consulting as an add-on. Have any advice you would like to share?

    • Hello, Anselmo, thanks for reading and commenting! I have been consulting for a few years now while I also held a school position. While difficult to maintain both, it’s not impossible. Talk with your supervisors and see what kind of flexibility you have in your schedule. Some educator consultants I know have flex days or are allowed to use personal days or days without pay if they take a consulting job during the school year. Others use their summer vacation days to consult. My advice would be to have an open and honest conversation with your school and let them know why you’re interested in consulting, how it will benefit you as an educator, and what skills it will allow you to also bring to the school and your students. Share your passions and ideas, we learn so much from one another! Enjoy the #EdublogsChallenge!

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