After spending a bit too much time putting my last entry into “game speak,” I have decided to forgo the World of Workraft theme for now. So in this posting you will just be getting the straight up down low on my physical classroom space. Don’t worry though, there still is plenty of fun to be had.
First, let me show you a simplified map of our school. Yellow represents hallways, purple represents classrooms, and blue represents offices. The red arrow on the right shows the location of the front door. If you are thinking that it is small for a school, you’re right. There are actually two more floors above the bottom section, which have the same layout. I just didn’t include them here for simplicity’s sake.
In China, the teachers usually move classrooms and the students stay put. In this school, everyone moves. The four classrooms I teach in are marked with red circles on the map above. Instead of numbers, our rooms have names. Mine are called Oxford, Sydney, South Kensington, and Adelaide after the cities. Just for fun, I’m juxtaposing images from the real cities (pulled from various other websites) with pictures of the classrooms so you can look for any resemblance .
As you can tell, the classrooms are very basic. The walls are white except for a few projects left from last year’s groups and some dirt. The furniture (except for Sydney) is set in rows and pretty much stationary. All of the rooms are a tight fit for about 25 students and a teacher (a good thing too because it means smaller classes than normal in China). The issue though is that there is little flexibility with the actual classroom space for doing any “out-of-your-seat” activities.
Overall though, the rooms have everything one needs to teach. They come with white or chalk boards as well as with a basic sound system that plugs into a laptop. They also have LCD projectors, but I have yet to try using one in class. Still, it has taken getting used to teaching in this environment, especially after coming from the facilities of an independent school.