Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Pain of Improvement

I have recently been going through some pretty significant growing pains at school. I have been eagerly awaiting these new changes all year, but it doesn't make it any easier to go through the process. The day I was scheduled to set up my Art Fair I came in to piles of posters, papers, and books in rather inconvenient places all over my room. The painters, who had told me the day before that they weren't sure when they would get to my room, had stripped my walls and shelves of their contents in order to prep my room to be painted. So not only was I trying to make my room resemble a usable classroom I was also getting my Art Fair set up in the library with the help of my favorite free labor- my students. Saying that I was slightly stressed and anxious about the situation is a pretty big understatement. The next Monday I came in to what you see below:
The painters had spent the weekend making my walls (including my old, stained cork board that makes up about 85% of my walls), shelves, and cabinets look beautiful but in their wake was a disaster. These painters don't clean up after themselves. After two solid hours of cleaning while trying to teach my classes at the same time some amount of sanity had returned to the room. Along with fresh paint some other even more significant and exciting changes have taken place. School built in 1958, meet the 21st century:

That is my new audio enhancement system. With this system shouting to get the attention of students in a noisy classroom is a thing of the past. There are four ceiling mounted speakers that project the sound from a lavaliere I wear around my neck. Thanks to this system a quiet talking voice carries the same weight of "I NEED EVERYONE TO BE QUIET AND LISTEN!"

This picture shows off my lovely new white walls. I will never again need to defy death in order to cover stained cork board with poster paper. You can also see two of my sweet speakers.

Above you can see my ceiling mounted projector. I wasn't sure that I was going to get a lot of use out it because I only used my projector on a cart once every couple weeks, but I find that the convenience of it has led me to use it almost everyday. One of the best new things in my room is a document camera, which is like a modern overhead projector that hooks into the ceiling mounted projector and allows me to do project demonstrations at my desk while the class watches on the big screen.

The result:

A happier and more effective teacher. Hopefully.


  1. Wow, that is so awesome! Seriously. Did you have to pay out of your budget or was it a grant of some sort?

  2. It was all that capital development money- they have to use it for building improvement and construction. It can't be used to buy supplies or fund teacher/ employee salary. So by the end of the year every classroom in the building will have sound and projectors with dvd/vcr combos and it will all be networked together so things like the morning announcements can be broadcast over it.