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Have you experienced teaching in a classroom without doors?

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by Doitforfree, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    I went to a completely open plan school, with no classroom space at all, just two 'ends', with four classes in each. Frankly we weren't taught much at all. It would have been impossible in the space and that wasn't the ethos anyway. We were supposed to teach each other. It was incredibly noisy, according to my mum, but none of the children seemed bothered by the noise. I suppose we soon got used to it and didn't know any different. This was in the seventies when there wasn't the pressure to teach things formally that there is now. Most of the top sets at my secondary school were made up of pupils from my terrible primary school. I'm sure there's some research to be done out there somewhere! We all loved it and I have to say we were very creative, if appalling handwriters on the whole! It must have been hell for the teachers who'd moved from the old, normal school building but most of the teachers were young and many had done their teaching practice there too, so they didn't know any different either.
    So, positives. None these days, that I can think of. In those days the theory was children could work with other children of any age so weren't held back or overwhelmed by having to be taught with theri own age group. The other positives were unique to the time and school (for example, having weeks and weeks to do an art project, and doing nothing else for those weeks and weeks! ).
    I don't think it did me any harm and makes me wonder if we do a great deal too much stressing about what children learn at primary school. We'd all gone to an excellent infants, where we learned to read and write so the damage inflicted by the juniors was somewhat mitigated by our thorough grounding. I think middle ability children probably suffered from lack of directed teaching. Depending on the school set up i suppose there may be scope for mixing children from different classes for certain activities.
  2. In my first placement school on PGCE I was using a 'classroom' that was part of a converted common area so around the desks were 5 other classroom entrances, 2 outside doors and a set of toilets. At the beginnings of lessons it was chaos as classes were lining up in your room for other lessons and if a teacher was late (or allowed noisy pupils lining up) my lesson start was delayed. If a pupil got sent out of their class for bad behaviour they ended up in my room which was never great. People had to walk around your teaching space to get to other classes for notices or trips to the toilet etc. The only benefit was that I learnt to never be phased when someone came to observe me because people were always watching me teach and im rarely disturbed by noisy corridors or people nipping in and out now. The staff at work joke that I could teach through a heard of elephants stomping through my room unfazed.
  3. 576

    576 Established commenter

    Thanks for the replies.

  4. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    I could have written that as I was in exactly the same situation, plus the Deputy Head used to wander through from his office to the Fire Escape to make a quick get away halfway through last lesson on a Friday!
  5. Kate001

    Kate001 New commenter

    Good things - students behave better as many staff walk through
    Bad things - End of lesson often cut short because of students wandering
    Otherwise, its the same as having a normal room!!
  6. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    That all depends on how good the staff are and whether they choose to see bad behaviour

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