Over the break, I took the liberty to actually move into my new office. We cleaned out drawers that had not been cleaned in the months I had been there, we moved the ubiquitous curriculum binders to a place where they can gather dust less conspicuously, and we removed some aging pieces of furniture.
It’s that last piece that made the most difference to the space. Over the last few years, mainly since I’ve known my wife, I’ve come to understand much more about what it means to have a “space,” and to cultivate it to fit your needs. Having jumped into this position somewhat midstream while schools were beginning and routines were already established, I struggled with the space I was working in. It defined the job, and thus, by default, had begun to define me. Because I had not changed that space and made it workable for me, I truly felt a bit hamstrung from establishing myself here.
By removing some of the bigger pieces of furniture in the room and putting up a twelve-foot whiteboard, we in effect opened up the usable space tremendously. What does that mean for me and those I work with? More room to collaborate, more space to think and do, and fewer constraints on the ideas we have and actions we take. It may sound a bit pie-in-the-sky, but after spending my first full day in the new space, I’m convinced that my thinking and activity will change for the better.