I’ve arrived early at school for today we’re taking our kids out on a field trip. With ten minutes to kill before I have to grab the cooler filled with ice and head out over to the buses to shepherd the kids aboard, I’ve come up to my classroom to putter around on the internet. My class has one window, a vertical beam of glass in the very center back, iron meshed and shatter proof though which increasingly yellow morning light pours in and warms the blue linoleum floor. A melted haze of pale white reflects off the floor between the window and where I sit at the front, and looking out over the orderly rows of desks I can’t help but reflect on the mercurial nature of this classroom.

Depending on the period, it’s a different beast. Second period with my honors kids is utterly different from third with my most unmaneagable class. Even though the desks remain in the same place, the atmosphere, the energy, the dynamic completely changes. The physical layout is almost meaningless; what counts is where the students sit, how they arrange themselves, and how those patterns affect each other. I could go into an altogether different room for each period, and the affect would be the same.

I can hear the kids calling distantly to each other outside. It’s time to go get the ice, head out, take the kids to the Sony Ericsson tennis grounds. Have a great day, everybody.