Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My Own Room, For A Day

Today was an absolute treat. I got to teach all five of my classes in one room!
That doesn't seem like something so unusual to most of you, but just this school year I have taught in four different rooms. (I am not even getting into the fact that I moved rooms over the summer.)
How is this possible?
The year started in 'my' classroom. This is the norm. I had a classroom in which I taught my core classes, my elective, and my advisory. When I wasn't teaching I could prep or have meetings in my room. All was well.
Then the administration realized it made more sense to move the middle school into the building that was being built (to replace high school portables that did not meet fire code). Why the middle school? Because we would fit in the building, all in one area. If the high school were to use the building they would be spread out all over campus.
We waited and waited for the building to be complete. Bets were made as to when the move would actually take place. This part of the story could be its own post and I will skip it now.
Eventually we moved to the 'new building'. I had my second room of the year, but all of the characteristics of my first room still held true. Once the move was complete it was school as usual.
Then it was announced that the building was unsafe.
Virtual school for a few days followed.
We resumed classes,
only to be told it was condemned and would have to be retro-fitted.

Now what? Virtual school for the rest of the year?
That was one option (pajamas and sweats for a many months doesn't sound too bad) but not the one we went with.
The building we had moved out of still had three empty rooms, even after the high school moved in. There was another room that was only used by a health class. (They were moved to the stage in the main gym.) Now that we had four rooms a plan began to emerge.
The four core teachers for both sixth and seventh grades could utilize these rooms. Each of us has four core classes and we have a total of eight blocks. It just took a little block swapping, but now during each of the eight blocks, each of those four rooms has a core class.
Eight grade still needed a space. The elementary school gave up their gym and now the eight grade teaches a more college style class with each core subject being taught once (rather than four times). They have a headset mic, projector, etc. The other core teachers are available to assist both individuals and facilitate group work when it isn't their subject area. (It is working out far better than anyone had expected!)
Anyway, since 'my' room is also someone else's room I need another space for my elective. A very kind high school teacher smiles when I come in with my sixth graders for Digital Storytelling during one block of each rotation.
If it is my planning time I have to find another space. This all goes on and on with many people making accommodations so our students can continue to have classes. (Another example is the ES Arabic teachers now use carts to go from homeroom to homeroom so their classrooms can be used by MS specialist teachers.)
It's working. Classes happen. Kids are learning. Summer is approaching.
So what was so special about today? Today reminded how much more energy this shift in rooms takes out of me each day / week. Today, since the seventh grade Language Arts students were taking M.A.P.
I had the room to myself.
All. Day. Long!
I had my elective in 'my' room.
I sat in the quiet before a class started.

Someday it will be my reality once again, but for now I was thankful for one day.

No comments:

Post a Comment