Nobody’s going to tell you what to do here, Sheyvette Dinkens said passionately. The Wyandotte High School business teacher recently began transforming her space at school into classroom coworking.
“I want students to be able to guide their own education,” she said. “I want to be able to facilitate their learning, and I want them to make the choices.”
The bell rang on Dinkens’ coworking idea at the end of the 2017-2018 school year. She and her students toured several Kansas City coworking sites and researched their inner workings, ultimately envisioning an alternative learning environment with an entrepreneurial edge, now dubbed Suite 1886 — in honor of the year Wyandotte High School was established.
“If we have business students that are trying to develop entrepreneur skills, then I think they need to know the environment that a lot of entrepreneurs are working in,” Dinkens said.
Students’ innovation skills are being put to the test as Suite 1886 takes shape, she said. The students who fill Dinkens’ Applied Business Development class are leading the project, she added.
The group is currently working to secure sponsorships and donations –– both monetary and in the form of furniture/accessories –– to overhaul the dated aesthetic of the nearly 100-square-foot classroom.
The students will decide how the coworking space operates and assist in its management, Dinkens said.
“There’s so many relationships that are built within coworking spaces that it’s amazing,” she said, highlighting the collaborative efforts the environment could inspire for students. “I want students to come back to school and mimic that same thing with their peers.”
Sixty-eight percent of people who make use of coworking spaces found themselves better focused, Dinkens said, calling it a perfect model for producing enhanced student learning outcomes.
She hopes the space will be fully operational by December.