Teachers’ Room: Design and Role of the Faculty Lounge
The teachers’ room – also known as the staff room or faculty lounge – is one of the most important rooms for educators. The teachers’ room is the place where staff can relax before or after class, eat lunch, grab a coffee, spend recess, consult with colleagues, plan lessons, discuss educational issues and socialize. Numerous studies have already confirmed the pivotal role physical environment and school architecture play in the success of students (including classroom layout, ergonomic furniture, air quality, color, lighting and more). So too, the décor of the teachers’ room sets the tone for each educational setting, lending an air of professionalism or establishing a more colleague-friendly faculty lounge.
According to the Journal of Architectural Education, the teachers’ room is typically outfitted with comfortable furniture, conference table and chairs, personal cubby holes/shelves and the obligatory coffee-making equipment. The faculty lounge is where teachers can blow off steam, de-stress, share insights and observations, conduct small and large group discussions, lend support, collaborate, brainstorm, share curriculum ideas and voice their opinions about school and educational issues. Functioning as a place of professional development or as an oasis from students and the classroom, the teachers’ room is arguably one of the most important rooms for educators in school settings.
Just as the right furniture supports different modes of teaching and learning in the classroom, and just as the classroom is a contained community where students socialize as well as learn, so too the right configuration of furniture in the teacher’s lounge creates an environment which supports the needs of faculty and administration. Furniture which is comfortable, attractive and appealing makes all teachers feel welcome, while furniture which allows for different layouts supports teachers in their mission to perform with excellence.
Furniture solutions for the teachers’ room also focus on sustainability (i.e. GreenGuard certified furniture for schools), proper ergonomics and the incorporation of new technologies. Modern technological advances have introduced power and data ports, media centers, computer tables and wireless connection to the faculty lounge. Other popular items for the teachers’ room include:
- Wide chairs with plenty of room for teachers to spread out
- Articulated chair backs with good lumbar support
- Padded armrests
- Rolled-edge seat fronts
- Cushioned seating with thick foam for comfort
- Coffee tables to create a warm, inviting area
- Foldable/portable tables
- Space-saving stackable chairs
- Sleek designs
- Wall and free-standing coat racks to hang coats, jackets, hats and umbrellas without the need for closets or hangers
According to landscape environment experts, the ideal workplace is tailored to the character and goals of the organization, improves performance, allows employees to realize their potential and enriches everyone’s experience. Hence, the ideal teacher’s room is optimized to support work and social interaction. It allows teachers to collaborate, generate new ideas and drive their goals forward. The right mix of mobile staff room furniture also allows teachers to arrange the space to best meet the needs of the moment. By fostering a sense of community and empowering teachers to do what they do best, the teachers’ room is clearly a vibrant landscape reflecting the very pulse of school settings.