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    • #4188
      Laura Berlage

      Permaculture is a style of agrarian philosophy that seeks to make systems that will sustain over long periods of time, rather than quick solutions with equally flash-in-the-pan rewards that then dwindle and become unsustainable.  While this philosophy is primarily aimed at agriculture, it has some keen takeaways that are helpful when thinking about your classroom–especially the elements that students don’t need to see.

      One of my favorite concepts is having what you must access and tend to the most as close to home as possible.  That which you need less frequently can be further out, while what you need hardly at all can be the farthest away from “home.”  If home is your seat at the teaching table, that translates as what you need most should be within arm’s length.  What you need sometimes can be withing leaning distance or a quick roll of your chair.   That which is needed quite infrequently can be in the room but requires you to get out of your chair, leave the camera’s view briefly, and then return.

      Sometimes it’s hard to know what you need most and what you need least!  If you already have an active teaching practice, reference the tote/box/bins you always take with you to the classroom.  What ALWAYS gets used from these containers?  Keep those close.  What usually gets used but not always?  These will be in the middle ground.  What do you keep bringing just in case but almost never use?  These can be kept further away from your immediate teaching space.

      There will also be items you will want for online teaching that you might not usually use in your in-preson practice.  These include:

      • A tape measure or ruler (students will ask about scale).
      • If any of your tech requires batteries, lots of backups!
      • A second pair of any of the most essential tools you will use.  If your felting needle breaks mid-class, have one you can immediately grab instead of heading off on a search.
      • A waste recepticle.  It’s no fun to cut your thread end and then find you have no place to put it, and it gets stuck to your sleeve awkwardly for the rest of the session.  This is said from experience.
      • Dry eraser board, markers, and eraser for drawing out concepts.

      As you make your piles for the three concentric rings of placement, how does this help you think about organizing these things within your space?  Do you need any shelves or racks to keep these in order yet within reach?  How much can you creatively stash under your teaching table?  Does any of this need to be on the table?  By your side?  On the floor?  If you are teaching in-person as well, would it be helpful to have a set of tools and supplies packed up for travel, then a second set staged for your online space, instead of having to unpack and repack continuously?

      How does all this help you “settle” into your new space?

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