The term “culture” can bring to mind various images or meanings. This can encompass anything from language or food to the arts or family structures. Ultimately, a culture is a shared set of values and practices that a group of people holds. A culture of minimalism requires members of a group, in this case, your classroom, to recognize and work toward making use of currently available resources and no more in order to best support the requirements and expectations of the community. While a minimalist culture in classrooms may seem unconventional, overly innovative, or unrealistic now, this approach is becoming more and more socially acceptable. Rather than superficially attempting to meet students’ needs by buying “things,” adding more tasks, or creating more paperwork, there is a shift to instead maximize existing resources in the community and create a lifelong practice and lifestyle of appreciation, efficiency, and sustainability.
Refocusing on your purpose in teaching assists in creating a mental space in which you can tune into your students. This helps you prioritize students and their needs, and helps pare down those non-essentials that clutter up teaching.
How would creating this culture add value for you, and for your students in the upcoming year?