Staffroom is the place where teachers spend most of their non-teaching time.That makes it important for the functionality of teachers.
The West Australian School, situated in Australia, has recently upgraded the staffroom space. The facility which has been same since 1980s, and now it has got high tables, a mobile kitchen bench, and a collaborative seating space in room-center.
The colors of the room itself bring nice vibes and soft tones. The decoration of the staffroom gives it homely feel because of some prints and shelves. Motive of the school administration was to create a learning environment in the staffroom as well.
The administration believes that the school community cares about its staff and they are valued.
From the perspective of a staff member, when he enters an environment where they feel valued and someone took the time to create the space, then it instills a value of self-worth and the same for the organization.
We can learn from this. Staffroom is not just a physical space, but also serves as a social, cultural, and emotional space for the staff. The site is crucial for influencing curriculum and resource decisions.
Another school in Australia in the southwest of Perth upgraded its staffroom furniture. At Vasse Primary School, few walls were knocked out and a whole new kitchen. Overall, the design mimics a campfire. The staff is encouraged to sit in circles and speak to each other.
Because of the structure, no one can avoid talking to someone else. This brings the connectedness in the community because of the looks and feels. People open up and talk about different things with the structure.
Leadership team and administrators are important aspects of the school, and when they are in the staffroom, they should enjoy it. People should go into staffroom and engage in conversations that are about the people, places, and pedagogy.
Relationships are the number one factor in functioning of a school. This is because when you invest in staffroom, the teachers feel valued.
Walls of a typical school staffrooms are filled up with notices, information or advertising plastered over them. But this is not the case with the Vasse Primary School. They try to keep these minimum and keep the walls clean. Only a few things go on the walls like some functional, operational type stuff.
The walls are usually showcased with students’ work or keep the walls very clear. The staffroom has minimum departmental type paperwork and more of a space for teachers can come and relax. Teachers can just unplug for five minutes and talk to each other.
On Thursday mornings there is a special teacher’s tea session.
We can understand from the two instances that having a nice and engaging staffroom definitely improves the overall morale of the staff. The positive vibes make the school a better place. The school is a place to learn academics but it also teaches the social aspects. Happier teachers and students can make a whole lot of difference to the performance of the school.