At the end of every school year teachers prepare to wrap up the curriculum they’ve been drilling into us for the past nine months, in addition to closing the years material many teachers must also prepare to move classrooms. As students are picking their classes and setting up their schedules for the next year, teachers are waiting for news to come about their own schedules. When teachers receive these schedules, they are also told if they have to move or switch rooms for the next school year. The reactions to these room assignments can vary.
“My first reactions weren’t particularly positive. I actually knew there was a good chance I’d be moving in somewhere months before they told us, so that part wasn’t a shock. It was disappointing, because I really liked being in a portable: it’s quieter, it’s bigger than my current room, and it has water and air conditioning,” said math teacher Mr. Davidson, who had been in a portable for many years before this year. “I fairly quickly accepted it, because there are other factors that balance out a lot of the inconvenience: for one, I have amazing classes this year.”
In previous years, it seems that the process of moving rooms has been consistent, but with various new administration coming to Burke it seems, the comfort of a familiar process was no longer there.
“With many recent changes in Burke’s administration, it is difficult to say if people have been using similar approaches/methodologies when assigning rooms from year to year. A consistent process would be a good start,” said social studies teacher Mrs. Dalton. “I would say right now the approach is reactive—decisions are made and then the teachers are given the rationale for how the rooms were assigned. I think getting teacher input [and] having conversations first and being proactive with room assignments would improve morale and trust in the process.
Amongst other things, another aspect that many teachers were frustrated by was communication between administration and teachers regarding room assignments.
“I can say during this last round of room assignments there was not a lot of communication between Admin and teachers. There were a lot of discussions amongst teachers searching for answers as to why the overhaul of room assignments. I think many of us where simply handed our new room assignments without much explanation… When I found out that not only was I sharing a room (which was fine by me, many of us share our spaces) but also moving to a portable, I was not happy to say the least. I think the idea of practicing transparency / open and honest feedback is crucial,” said Mr. Schmidt, who had been in room 240 for six years prior to now. “In my experience, had someone discussed with me the reason I was moving and listened to my reservations about moving, the whole experience would have been much more positive for me. However, as maddening as it was the last 2 weeks of school, we are now three weeks in and I have adapted to my new surroundings. It is business as usual, as the old saying goes.”