Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Classes Were Quiet Today

At my school there are "ante-rooms" behind our classrooms; imagine a wing with 3 classrooms on each side with two large, narrow rooms between the pairs of 3, these rooms being accessible not only from the six classrooms (4 classrooms access one ante-room, two classrooms the other) but also from one end of the wings; each wing in our school is built this way. I understand that in days past, when education money flowed freely, each department had a secretary and supplies based in those rooms!

Since I've been at school, the ante-room behind my classroom has been a sort of minefield/storage room/junk room for the entire school. For reasons I won't go into in this post, I was able to convince the school administration (it didn't take much convincing) to allow me to turn that room into a math lab. We already had the (ancient and decrepit) laptops and chairs, so the only additional cost was a few computer tables. It now looks nice and is reasonably functional.

Yesterday our vice principals came to me to ask how we in the math department "sign up" for using the lab. I explained that we don't, it's very informal. If it ever becomes a problem, maybe then we'll hang a calendar or something up in there and teachers can sign up on the calendar, but for now only a couple of us use it. Then they asked if they could use it for a vice principals meeting; it seems that periodically our district's VP's meet, and each time it's at a different school site, and this month it was our school's turn to host. I told them, "It's not my lab to grant, it belongs to the school. However, I know of no one using the lab tomorrow, so feel free." I don't know why I enjoyed the looks on their faces when I said it wasn't my lab. Maybe because that's just not the answer you would usually give to such a question, it elicits odd looks from people, I don't know--but I admit I enjoyed their response.

So today I had a couple dozen vice principals right on the other side of the door from my classes. I told my classes to keep the volume down so that we wouldn't give them any reason to open that door. One student in first period asked if I'd tell the VP's to keep it down if they got too loud, and my response was, "of course I would". The nice thing was, though, that I didn't need to, a fact I pointed out to my later classes. "The vice principals know how to use 'inside voices'," I said. I do a fairly good job of keeping my classes "contained" and on task, but I'll grant that when I allow them to, they will get loud--especially my classes that are predominantly seniors.

Not wanting to attract any undue attention, the classes were relatively quiet today. Maybe I should ask the VP's to borrow "my" lab more often :-)


Amerloc said...

"side with to large, narrow rooms"

Wanna throw a 'w' in that "two," just to pretend it matters?

Darren said...

I won't pretend. It does matter.

maxutils said...

Why not just tell your student that they liked it so much, they've decided to use it every Friday?