Recommendation Three:
Ensure Adequate Professional Space for Teachers and Paraprofessionals in School Facilities


Role Group Strategies:

Help perform an evaluation of how existing building space is being used. Ensure that your school is maximizing currently available space to create private and professional areas for teachers whenever possible.


Office Supply
Clark, C. S (2001, Oct ). EdWeek, Teacher Magazine
This article describes an initiative to outfit New York City's 1,100 schools with teacher workstations. This is part of a growing national movement to upgrade, or, in some cases, introduce teacher work spaces in schools. While it does cite the reluctance of some teachers to leave their home classrooms and cart their belongings to separate offices, the article also details other examples in which teachers felt an increased sense of respect and efficiency when they were finally able to have separate teacher work spaces.


A Sampler of Designs for Teaching and Learning
The George Lucas Educational Foundation (2003, September)
This article gives real world examples of various design innovations nationwide. Among other useful examples, the section “Honoring the Teachers” describes the design of professional working spaces at Mary Scroggs Elementary School  in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The school was designed to give a top priority to teachers having their own space, complete with computers, phones, desks, and storage. The goal was to start "treating (teachers) as professionals, raising morale, and providing them with the tools and resources so they can be the best they can be," says Principal Paula McCarthy.

Initial School Self-Evaluation Instrument
North Central Regional Educational Laboratory
This self-evaluation instrument is designed for use by teachers, administrators, school board members, students, and community representatives. It allows users to evaluate their schools in four areas:  learning and teaching, governance and management, school improvement and professional development, and parent and community involvement. The teaching and learning section includes questions on resources and materials and technology integration.

33 Principles of Education Design
Lackney, Jeffery A., Ph.D. (2003, February) The National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities
This site provides a comprehensive list of 33 guiding principles for educational design. Principal No. 10 details the importance of clustering instructional areas and No.17 in particular outlines how teachers should be regarded as professionals and provided with private or semi-private office space for storing belongings and accessing informational technology tools.  The site provides rationale and excellent strategies for the use of professional space.


Butin, Dan (2000, July) National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities
This paper addresses the key elements found in well-designed teacher workspaces, including both classroom- and office-based workspaces, and highlights important development principles when designing these workspaces. Educational trends that have affected the rise of both classroom- and office-based work space are briefly discussed.


Teacher Workspaces
Website Resource List. National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities
This extensive website is the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities’ resource list of links, books, and journal articles on the planning and design of teachers' workplaces, teachers' roles in school facility planning, and how teaching methods and considerations for teacher health and safety affect school design.

Actively participate in the planning phases of new and redesigned schools, and advocate for sufficient professional space for teachers.

(Re)Designing Learning Environments
The George Lucas Educational Foundation
This site includes a set of diverse case studies from the George Lucas Educational Foundation highlighting a diverse group of schools across the country which have designed innovative learning communities that help kids learn.  Interactive case studies provide background, timelines and strategies for creating or renovating school communities and facilities that work for multiple partners.

For Generations to Come: A Leadership Guide to Renewing Public School Buildings
21st Century School Fund. (2002).
This resource provides a guide to community members for becoming involved in the process of modernizing or building new schools. The authors explain how the condition and design of schools affect the quality of learning that takes place within them and how community involvement results in better education. They then break down the process of school redesign and construction into five steps: Assessment, Envisioning, Planning, Development, and Implementation. For each step, they give a detailed, practical description of the process and highlight stories from actual schools.

The Future of School Facilities: Getting Ahead of the Curve
DeArmond, M., Taggart, S., & Hill, P. (2002). Center on Reinventing Public Education.
This report outlines five national trends affecting the future of learning, offers six criteria based on those trends that can guide decisions affecting school facilities, and profiles innovations in school facilities in Portland Public Schools and Niagra Falls City Schools. The six criteria are that facilities should focus on student learning and achievement, facilities should be flexible, facilities should be responsive, facilities tradeoffs and choices should be transparent, facilities provisions should be driven by data, and facilities should be economically efficient.

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