I am moving into a learning cottage next year, which is another term for a portable, or a trailer. This is where the rubber meets the road on overcrowding. While there are schools within two miles of ours with extra space, we have six classes out in portables, and mine will be one of them.
There is no bathroom. There is no sink. There is no cover between the trailer and the building to protect kids from the elements when they need to go into the building. There are no lockers. There are no shelves other than the one pictured above. There is no closet. It is about 2/3 the size of the classrooms inside of the building.
On top of that, I will be teaching about 30 fifth grade students next year because we are going from 5 fifth grade teachers to 4. It is likely to be my largest class ever in the smallest space I've ever had. Now, the school has desks and chairs for the room. But shoving 30 student desks into the space, along with their preteen bodies, along with their coats and backpacks, along with the materials I need to do my job well, along with a water cooler because there is no sink, along with the laptop device cart, and you quickly see how the space becomes hazardous to the physical and emotional well-being of all of us.
I would love to use tables and creative seating options in lieu of student desks so there can be room for the kids to move without stepping on top of each other. I would love to put in bookshelves so I can have an enriching classroom library. I would love to create a learning space that actually does feel like a learning cottage, and not a trailer.
But I have to pay for all of these things on my own. I have looked at yard sales, garage sales, Craig's List, etc. but I am up against a pretty serious clock. This change to a new room was only confirmed less than a week ago, and I have about a month left before I need to start setting up my space for the next school year.
I love my school and I respect my administration. I don't want to burn out, and most importantly, I want my students to know that their learning space is important and valuable, and that they are safe and cherished. I appreciate any, any help that you can give!
- Elizabeth Sfekas
- Allie Sax
- Tom Hammond
- olivia crowley
- Nara Shoji
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