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Florida Teacher Vying For New Classroom In A National Competition

Spectrum News March 6, 2023
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TAMPA, Fla. — Nine teachers across the nation are vying to win new classrooms for their students. In the national competition 'Classroom Furniture Giveaway,' one Florida classroom made the cut. 

Dylan Zuccarello is a first-year math and science teacher at Lawton Chiles Elementary School in the Tampa Palms neighborhood. He created a new classroom layout for his students that has drawn in votes, making him one of nine finalists nationwide across three regions

Other classroom finalists span from California to New York. The classroom with the most votes from each region will win free furniture and a classroom makeover of their own design.

What You Need To Know

“I want them to be motivated and be excited to come to school,” said Zuccarello. “So they are going to see there are different areas in the room they can collaborate, whether that’s in a group or in a circle. There are other parts of the room where they can work independently. 

“So when they know they come to my classroom, they know there is going to be a spot for them to do their work and build those skills.”

Teachers work hard during the summer to create inviting classroom environments despite older equipment and furniture in some schools.

Inside Mr. Z’s elementary classroom, an old-style tube back television hangs from the wall with a VCR attached. And behind his desk is an old-school phone that older generations may recognize from their parents’ kitchens.

Fifth-grade student Emma Campbell said the phone “looks like it’s from the 19th century.”

Mr. Z’s new design features a spacious learning environment with separate areas for instruction.

If his classroom design wins, he says KI Furniture would likely build the classroom before the end of this school year.

Head here to see Mr. Z’s and other classroom designs

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