These days, I live and work in Ireland. Near my home, is Newgrange – a huge mound of rock and earth that’s over 5,000 years old. At dawn, on the shortest day of the year, everyone gathers to see the sun’s first light shine along a passage and light up a chamber in the mound.
This special moment reminds me of how our classrooms should be. We should connect them to the wider world beyond their walls. We should allow light to shine in from outside.
And, in turn, our classrooms will become places from where light shines. They will become memorable, happy places that encourage and empower the children who are lucky to come there. That is what we hope anyway!
Young children spend rather too much time in classrooms these days, often sitting unnaturally still for hours every day. Many of them spend a lot of time after school in other classrooms before they go home. A lot of them are expected to study at home as well. They can easily become bored and lose motivation.