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  • Conner Emery

Fixed Facilities, Traveling Teachers

Updated: May 8

Multiple teachers at CVCHS instruct without a fixed classroom due to distinctions in the classroom resources required for their courses. The growing student population, too, has amplified this circumstance as multidisciplinary teachers must move classrooms to maximize course sections they can teach.

Most CVCHS classrooms are alike in size and desk accommodation. These classrooms are standard and the courses they can serve are roughly interchangeable. However, the administration actively associates courses like AP Computer Science and Photography with specialized facilities like the computer labs and the photography lab to ensure specialized learning opportunities are maximized with respect to our finite facilities. (In other words, teaching an English class in the photo lab is unlikely to be the most optimal use of that space.) Limited ability to alter our facilities and a growing student population increases the value of this strategy, though it leaves some teachers without a fixed classroom.

“My morning classes are all in A10 and my afternoon classes are all in E5,” said Nick Hansen, an English and Video Productions teacher. “That being said, I usually try to get back into A10 at the end of school. Often I have to shuffle a bunch of materials with me from one place to another.”

Hansen instructs in a computer lab for Video Productions and moves to a standard classroom to teach English. His movement accommodates the popularity of the computer lab and influences his overall classroom presence.

“I don’t really want to bring all of these materials and then split them up within the two rooms,” Hansen said. “I also am unsure if I will have the same two rooms year-in and year-out so I don’t really see the point in bringing stuff to decorate. I simply roll with the electronic submissions and Schoology more so now than ever.”

The absence of a fixed classroom can also be especially impactful for the preparatory period of moving teachers. Most often they share the classroom used for their prep period with another teacher, though they may have their own classroom or no constant space at all.

“I have been lucky over the years to have one of my two rooms available for my prep period without having someone else’s class in there,” said Liz Abbott, a Photography and English teacher. “However, when we became a charter, I lost that luxury as we have steadily increased the number of students at the school and, therefore, the number of classes. This is the first year since we have been a charter that I have had one of my two rooms empty during my prep period so I am able to freely prep as I need to.”

Similarly, Hansen said that “my prep period was really funky last year as I didn’t really have a dedicated space for a while, but this year it’s much better as I just use E5.”

Patrick Gaffney, an administrator, explained that the administration does its best to support teachers and satisfy course selection. However, he stressed that some of the specialized facilities on campus function as bottlenecks in course selection that are difficult to address. “Ceramics, for instance, is taught in only one room with essentially one teacher. Given contractual limits on how many kids can be in a class and the availability of only one ceramics room, not everyone who chooses Ceramics is going to get Ceramics.”

With regard to traveling teachers specifically, he continued to say that “Room is always an issue when schools get tight, so then you have to get creative.”

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