Spring 2 Blog Post #1

Updated Classroom Environment 2019

Since writing my first classroom environment post in July 2017 I have had two more classroom settings. My classroom I have now is where I hope to spend my career.

The high school I teach at is an urban setting 20 minutes outside of New York City. The student body is approximately 3,000 students.  I teach high school art to students in grades 9-12. All of my courses are mixed grades and I teach painting, fashion and ceramics. My schedule is five classes a day with one study hall duty and two prep periods. The school has a 8 period a day schedule with 45 minute periods daily. Currently this semester I have one of each of my courses. painting 1 and painting 2, fashion 1 and fashion 2, and intro to ceramics. Students are in class from 7:40am to 2:35pm.

My classroom is a very long rectangle with cabinets lining two of the four walls. Two of the walls with the cabinets have a counter top that runs around half the classroom. The counters have light boxes along the perimeter of the room. I have two sinks in the classroom, one for ceramics and one for painting. One of the walls of my room is all windows out into a courtyard and the other wall is windows connecting to the hallway. I have a closet that leads to a storage room and my kiln. My desk is towards the front shorter side of the rectangle as well as my smart board. I have 10 tables that two weeks ago I decided to change up the layout of my room. I now have 5 sets of tables with two tables pushed together in each set. I have 6 students at each table set. I can hold 24 students per class with this layout. I decided to change the layout of my room after the first half of the year because I felt my room was too long and not everyone had equal viewing access to the board. Also, there were some students last semester that by the end of the course couldn’t tell me each other’s names so I wanted larger groups of students to lend itself to more conversation. My research pushed me to make these changes as I was recording class critiques and listening to relationships being formed from september to january. I am curious to see if now with different seating layouts how that affects the evolution of critiques from now january to june.

In the back of the room I have a demo table as well as a large paper cutter and 4 standing mannequins for fashion. Along the side of the windows I have shelving for storing student work. This is my first year in this room and the shelving is something I want to change over time. I don’t think it suits the needs of all 120 students I teach per semester. I am SO happy with my job and students and I look forward to having a long and ever changing career in this room. It was a long road to get here after graduating undergrad, being a fulltime substitute for a year, then last year being a part time art teacher in another district and still subbing in my first district and then having my part time position cut. This job is a dream come true and I am so blessed to be a full time teacher in this district.