Embrace the Benefits of Innovative, Flexible Classrooms.

As a Technology Coach, I have the opportunity to connect with many innovative and creative educators.  This post will highlight one of those educators, Ryan O’Neil and his Grade 6-8 students at Valley Farm Public School in Pickering.


From our first meeting, Mr. O’Neil was candid about his trepidation to transition his classroom into an innovative, flexible space.  He shared that as a classroom teacher who valued structure and control he was not sure how students would respond and how this new environment would impact their learning.  In the time I spent with Mr. O’Neil and his students it was clear that by establishing explicit norms and having high expectations for his students, Room 203 was an exciting, innovative hub of learning.

I’ve included some media that profiles Mr. O’Neil, his students and some of the awesome things happening in his class.  Hopefully this post will inspire you to investigate transitioning your classroom into an innovative, flexible space, as making a shift like this is about much more than just incorporating new furniture.





Live Wall


Teaching Self Regulation Habits


Student Perspectives


It was a pleasure to connect with Mr O’Neil and his students as a guest in their classroom.  As you can see, when the teacher sets clear norms, has high expectations and provides dynamic, engaging activities for students; the classroom becomes an innovative, flexible hub of learning.   My experience at Valley Farm P.S. reaffirmed my belief that the essence of an innovative, flexible classroom is promoting a classroom culture where both student voice and choice are valued.  In this type of environment, students are not only learning curriculum content, they are also developing social, emotional and learning skills critical to their success in the future.

As you begin considering your programming for next year, I encourage you to investigate the benefits of an innovative, flexible classroom.  Here are some resources to get you started.

Thanks for reading!

The Third Teacher

Innovative Learning Environments – Going Deeper

The Room Itself Is Active: How Classroom Design Impacts Student Engagement

1 Comment

  1. Great article! I’m looking forward to transitioning the Library Learning Commons into a space like that! Thanks for the virtual field trip!


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