College & Workforce Readiness

The Teacher’s Desk: An Occupational Dilemma

By Liana Loewus — August 16, 2011 1 min read

Blogger Mr. Foteah writes that while getting rid of the “imposing teacher’s desk” seems to be all the rage (in fact, our own Coach G recently recommended it), he’s just not ready to go deskless himself. Mr. Foteah says:

Yes, I want this to be a year in which I maybe, just maybe, speak less and listen more. I want to begin developing a truly student-centered classroom the best I can. I just feel I'd be lost without a desk. Where else would I find an open drawer in which to lean my lunch? How would I ever replace the surface area that holds so many paper clips, pens, folders, books, and papers? WHERE WOULD I KEEP MY PILES? Tell me, where would I keep my piles?

He goes on to list five other ideas he has for making his students more independent, which include starting a class blog, setting up a technology center with Flip cams, and offering community supplies so everyone is always prepared.

It’s a fun post, and Mr. Foteah’s fresh-off-the-summer optimism is somewhat contagious. He even has to remind himself to slow down and catch his breath at one point:

Too often, my goal is to get it all going right away, but it can't happen that way. It's too much for the kids to internalize. ...However, once they do internalize all the possibilities available to them in their new forward-thinking classroom from their suddenly awakened teacher, I think they can begin to foster some independence and self-direction.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.