Six months ago, I began a new journey with Moving Minds. I took on the role of brand manager and started the transformation to fully believing in the power of active learning. Before this? Well, I believed in being active. I ran daily, made sure my kids were outside all year-round, and avoided TV on the weekends (unless it was raining, or I only had four episodes left to get caught up on GoT. I am human of course). But, then I started reading, learning, exploring, and became a convert.

It started with SPARK by John Ratey (2008). It continued to evolve with studies from colleagues at Steelcase, professors at the University of Kentucky, and a challenging exercise with my friend Mike Kuczala during a RunningBrooke training event in DC. And then, I dropped my daughter off in her pre-school classroom this past January.

There were 6 total chairs. There was no dedicated “front” of the room, instead the classroom was centered around station learning. Granted, she was in a class with 10 students and the average age was 4-1/2, but during the next few months, we watched her evolve from this tiny young person to this (still tiny) person with an expanding wealth of knowledge. When I asked “Teacher Lisa” about it, her response was, “Why would you keep any person seated for more than 30 minutes at a time, let alone a young child? That is not a great learning environment.”

TEACHER LISA! AAAAAHHHHHH (cue shining lights, clouds parting with the sun casting over a field of sunflowers). Teacher Lisa has it dialed in.

Too Many “Front” of Classrooms

Kindergarten is just a year away, and I have started taking notice. There are a whole lot of chairs in some of these classrooms, along with too many desks and too many “fronts” of classrooms. As a parent, I am discouraged. As the brand manager for Moving Minds, I am enthusiastic to change the world.

I am a marketer; not a teacher. I happen to have a Masters of Education and have spent time in front of a classroom on college campuses, but I have not taught in a K-12 space. That space is challenging, light on resources, and BUSY. But, I understand that learners have varying needs. There is no one style that works best with everyone. Educational theory has been evolving at a crazy pace, and I wish I could say that about our institutional spaces. The time is now to go all in on active learning.

Let’s Make a Change…Together!

Call to action time (get those “ears” ready)—let us come together as a community and change the classroom landscape as we know it from this point forward. Let’s be friends, educational partners, and colleagues. Let’s find a way to tackle this great and grand challenge.

Thanks, Teacher Lisa for the inspiration.