The Open Classroom

I have the opportunity to supervise student teachers this school year. I’ve always wanted that assignment. I thought I was well-suited for it since I had numerous student teachers when I was a classroom teacher and I have supervised classroom teachers several times. One of my assignments is a school called The Open Classroom. When I visited for the first time last week, I was thrilled. Talk about using early childhood strategies! The entire school is built around hands-on experiences, working together, parent participation and creating a learning environment throughout the school. It was wonderful to walk into a fourth grade classroom and see tables instead of desks!! There were also several parents as well as the teacher and the student teacher. The school was friendly and inviting. Even the children in the hallway greeted me with a smile and a hello. The principal was just returning from outside where they were making the most of the learning environment while out at recess. The principal told me, “Every situation is a learning opportunity. Whether we are outside, in the hallway, or actually in the classroom. Anywhere the student might be is a teaching moment.”

I’m so excited to visit this school this year. It reflects my personal philosophy about education and educational settings. This is how I ran my kindergarten and first grade classrooms. What a joy to see these basic child development strategies embedded throughout an elementary school. I have always been convinced that a child will always learn more when he enjoys the environment and is met on his developmental level.

9 responses

  1. I student taught at the OC. And it was phenomenal! The whole experience changed how I viewed education, and I have loved being able to take some of their ideas – even the small ones – and translating them into my Title 1 traditional kindergarten class. Have so much fun!

  2. This sounds like an amazing school. Where is it located and what ages does it serve? Does it have a website?

  3. The Open Classroom is located in the Salt Lake City School District. It serves K-8. Their website is: You can also access it throught the district's website, which is: www. (find it under charter schools).

  4. An open and inviting school is something often missed in schools today. It appears with the demand to meet standards and additional duties, teachers become more frazzled and less tolerant,while students become more stressed, agitated, and/or depressed. If the feeling of the school is so overwhelmingly positive, I believe it must come from administration down. Though there are many positive and wonderful teachers, without a genuinely positive and caring administration that focuses on the children, their abilities, and staff collaboration, it does not seem to grow. I would like to see this same attitude and zeal for teaching and learning here in South Carolina.Teaching Assistant

  5. John they are doing very nice work. I am very much impressed by them. I hope they will continue it. Thanks for sharing their site. I didn't know about their site.

  6. I also agree with the fact that every where children go should be a learning opportunity. I work with infantts an toddlers in a childcare center, an I try to stimulate their minds an bodies as much as possible.

  7. This sounds like a truly fun and engaging school for all involved…children, teachers, parents and administrators. I would love to teach in a school like that! I love their philosophy and approach to learning. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  8. How would one create this Open Classroom in a school district where the curriculum does not lend itself towards this philosophy?Ms. Penny, Chicago, IL

  9. I am very impressed by Open Classroom Activities. This can very immersing for kids to destroy stage fear and want to add in development.

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