Ultimate Teacher Lounge Reveal: Holliston High School

By The Room 241 Team September 4, 2019

Many educators are given the advice to stay clear of the teacher lounge — veteran teachers sometimes advise new teachers to stay away, because they know that it can be a negative atmosphere — especially for newbies. But in staying away from the teacher lounge, teachers miss out on important support and collaboration that leads to positive change.

Because of our commitment to building resilient educators, Concordia University–Portland launched a contest during Teacher Appreciation Week, calling on educators across the nation to imagine an oasis from the school day and share that vision. Mrs. Murphy, an English teacher and track & field coach, entered and won the Ultimate Teacher Lounge Makeover for the 50-year-old building that houses Holliston High School in Holliston, Mass.

Mrs. Murphy posted the following:

My ultimate teacher lounge would include…
A sectional couch, wide chairs, coffee table, a rug, table and chairs to eat, one wall with chalkboard paint for messages and inspiration, a peg board with baskets for supplies (either school supplies or condiments), standing desks, charging station, shelves for storage, bookcase for sharing good reads with one another, free-standing hot and cold electric water dispenser, 2 microwaves 😮, coffee maker, a fan, paint (grays, whites, yellows), a teacher selfie wall, a student artwork wall, food!
Asking for a lot, I know, but to create a space that is inviting, collaborative, and relaxing would mean a great deal to our faculty. Thank you!

This summer, a team from Concordia worked with Mrs. Murphy and Holliston High School’s administration to transform their teacher lounge, starting with a space that looked like teacher lounges across the country — and turning it into the inviting space that Mrs. Murphy hoped it would be.

“This new teacher lounge is a fantastic spot for educators to come together and collaborate,” said Mrs. Murphy. “A lot of good things will happen here — a lot of progress, a lot of change, and connection with colleagues.”

“Concordia hopes this renovated teacher lounge inspires continued collaboration, innovation, and rejuvenation for the educators of Holliston High School,” said Concordia University–Portland spokesperson Madeline Turnock at the unveiling event. “Any community can come together to support their teachers in this way.”

Self-care is paramount to educator health and wellness, longevity in the profession, dedication to students, and to minimizing the potential for burnout. Nationwide, nearly 50 percent of new teachers leave the profession within their first five years, according to the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF).

We hope that this teacher lounge continues to bring the educators of Holliston High School together for years to come — and provides a place for them to remember to take care of themselves, learn from each other, and celebrate the impact that they have on students every day.

You may have missed your chance to win an Ultimate Teacher Lounge, but Concordia is making sure teachers take care of themselves throughout the year so you still have a chance to win monthly deliveries of healthy snacks for your school’s teacher lounge.

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