The structure of the classroom itself can play a significant role in shaping the attitudes that are produced. As Ayers explains, we ought to consider “what a space could become if it were built around building a sense of confidence and competence” or if we incorporated self-love, compassion and empathy (page 40). Similarly, teaching should expand beyond the walls of the classroom and students should be able to learn from the world not just about it (Ayres, 40). A classroom is a space for learning and as such educators should take the time to consider what time of learning their classroom is promoting. These spaces will look different from classroom to classroom and teacher to teacher. However, it is important to keep in mind the idea of students and teachers as being co-learners and co-contributors and to incorporate that into the structure of the classroom. In my CSL placement for example, the students’ desk are set up in small groups which is conducive to small group discussions and peer learning. In addition, the teacher’s desk is also connected to a group which creates a sense of equality within the classroom. Furthermore, the teacher often instructs from his desk and his instructional strategies are often conducive to class discussions or question and answer learning. In doing so, these teaching strategies allow students to participate and feel included in class activities while placing everyone at the same level and establishing a sense of equality within the classroom.
Ultimately, teaching expands beyond curriculum and assessment. The way that we teach, the space we provide for learning, and the attitudes these spaces offer are all significant aspects to creating positive learning experiences for our students.