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No classroom!

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by greenpeony, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. greenpeony

    greenpeony New commenter

    Was delighted to be appointed as class teacher a couple of months ago, but have just discovered I won't actually have my own classroom! Will be in the hall, loads of distractions, have to move for lunch tables to be set up and cannot be in there in the afternoons. Worse though, there is no whiteboard!!
    Have thought round most things but would love to hear any ideas how to manage this situation. Thanks, greatly appreciated.
  2. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    Portable/fold up whiteboard (smallish) ?
    Does the hall have a projector and a big screen you can pull down (for assemblies)?
    Workbooklets for each lesson - laminate and then re-use.
    Portable projector for your laptop (use against blank wall)
    Something like this? Portable Tool Box (sure there will be a cheap version somewhere)

  3. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    "Just Say NO!"

    Dig your heels in. You're an NQT and should not be treated this way and you need to say so because if you fail to meet your targets because you're having to move lunch tables around, you will not be given credit for it.

    And if they can't give you a proper classroom, then they should be supporting you with guaranteed help from site services, and providing proper storage, etc.
  4. cally1980

    cally1980 Established commenter

    What a strange situation. Will you have to take ownership for classroom environment? Displays, essential wall resources, working walls, comfy reading area etc... What a shame for the children too.
  5. littlerussell

    littlerussell New commenter

    lol - I looked round a school about 10 years ago, and as we walked through a narrow corridor there were children sitting at tables facing the wall the full length of it.
    The head informed me that they were one classroom short after a portakabin was condemned, and that this would be my teaching space as it was traditionally given to the newest member of staff. I would be there until another member of KS2 staff left, and then I could have their classroom.
    I didn't apply.
  6. mpc


    I think you need to have a word with your new employers. I know it's difficult BUT at my school (admittedly secondary) we would give the 'best' room to our NQT.
    Good luck,
  7. Cervinia

    Cervinia Occasional commenter

    Ridiculous situation.
    Difficult in the current job market, but I'd tell them to stuff it.
    If they think they can do this to you before you've even started, see what they do when they realise you're a doormat.
    Where exactly will you be in the afternoons? The field?
  8. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I would definitely not leave the school because of it.

    But keep on cheerfully talking about how hard it is and what you have to keep doing to manage the situation. You never know, you might end up with a brand new portakabin by xmas!
  9. You sound like you're in a similar situation to me in my NQT year. I was asked to teach in what was literally a corridor, on comfy chairs with a coffee table and with 4 computers that were 'public access' at break times. It effected my teaching so much, and my wellbeing, and it was such a battle to get it sorted out that I couldn't concentrate properly on getting the teaching right. I wouldn't take the job.
  10. This does sound like a very odd situation.
    Have they given any indication of how long you would be expected to teach in the hall?
    Not only that, but the lunch tables will have to be set up, prior to the lunchtime slot - so do they intend on doing it whilst you are teaching? That won't work!
    I don't think it's something that you should decline a job over - especially as you are lucky to have a job etc etc etc, BUT, you need to forewarn people, particularly mentors, that this could have a significant impact on your teaching. Also tactfully talk to the head (if you can) about the fact that you are feeling rather anxious about this and worried that you would not teach to the best of your ability and is there no other classroom (just 4 walls and some children's desks and chairs would be better than the echos of a large hall with movement for lunch tables and no afternoons there!).
    If the answer is no - then the hall it is! And look at it as challenges rather than annoyances (even though it is). Word of warning too - although a tricky situation, try not to moan too much to other members of staff - it might give the wrong impression. Hope you're not offended by this comment!
    Good luck.
  11. pianopete

    pianopete New commenter

    I sympathise! I assume you are primary so I would definitely say that you should keep the job as from what I've heard Primary positions are few and far between!
    I can only echo the advice of the others here in terms of putting pressure on the powers that be and also telling your mentor about the problems. You need to insist on a definite location for the afternoons - I hope it is not going to be the case that you find out at lunch where you will be that afternoon!
    I'm not Primary trained but the only other advice I can offer is when you are in the hall space use it to your advantage... lots of literacy through Speaking & Listening/Drama, use the hall for Maths - measure it etc. Lots of spaced out group work... if you are going to be lumbered with this make the best of it for now but keep moaning... its probably the only way you will not be forgotten about!
  12. Silent85

    Silent85 New commenter

    Also throughout it all think about how good your classroom management skills will be by the end of your NQT year :)

    Use the time wisely and you will put yourself at a great advantage when looking elsewhere. Also take pictures of how you used the space to your advantage with displays etc
  13. Remember to approach this the same way you would any other situation in your NQT year, making sure you are aware of everything that might be a problem.
    Ask the school where you will be in the afternoon and what you are expected to do with the children while the lunch people are setting up. Ask if the parents are aware of the situation (say something along the lines of you dont want to say the wrong thing to a parent). Where will the children put their belongings? Where will you store your resources?

    Every single question you think of that you cant find out for yourself make sure to ask someone within school. Try to make it clear that you arent complaining or moaning, just that this is a very difficult situation you did not expect to find yourself in and you want to make sure you can do the best by the kids in an extremely difficult situation.

    If this was not mentionned at interview i'd be inclined to ask why this situation has come about.
    I know in my NQT year I was so worried about saying the wrong thing or making a fuss I put up with broken resources all year being told there was no money for them while all of the longer serving teachers were being given whatever they wanted. I even put up with someone stealing half of my resources and having an akward meeting with the head about why I needed more half the way through the year. NQT does not mean doormat. Dont let it do.
  14. No-one in my school has their own classroom & you find yourself being a carthorse with all your stuff legging it from one side of the school to the other through the crowds of kids, somehow expected to have the starter on the board/desks before the kids get to the lesson...stupid! it also means people don't take care of the rooms, so they get messy, stuff goes missing etc. I'm an NQT and I'd say it's a pain but hold out and see how it goes. Ask for whiteboards - that's an essential - and make sure you have a resource box you can carry and a large bag! get kids to carry stuff around for you too, and nab a bit of cupboard space in each room you're teaching in & label it, so you can keep files etc there. get the kids into a routine of setting up the classroom/waiting outside etc so you don't arrive to a rammy. and get used to using your elbows to get through the crowds. have fun!
  15. This is the tack I am taking - making positive out of potentially negative. There are so many things about the school that compensate for the lack of a classroom.I also have the huge benefit of endless space for drama, MFL...
    Thanks to everyone who took the time to reply. All really useful thoughts and ideas.
  16. What a situation, I echo advice of others. But, I read recently on twitter about making an interstice whiteboard for £34. You should look it up to see if it would be any use to you.

    Good luck :)
  17. I'd say get out of there. You should not have to put up with that sort of environment whatsoever. If it's a case of jobs are few and far between then perhaps just supply for a while. NQT year is hard enough, don't make it harder for yourself!
  18. I'm an NQT with 8 different classes for the 4 classes I teach (secondary), 2 of which are always in the same class and I thought I had it bad! Don't take the job. Your first year will be stressful enough anyway with getting your head around teaching and the new responsibilities you have. This doesn't sound like it will end well...
  19. How old are the children you will be teaching and what space have you been allocated in the afternoon?

    If children are working on activities in which they are interested, then they are unlikely to be distracted for long. Could you discuss with the head teacher that, when you are teaching your class, it's important for everyone to treat the hall as a classroom and not as a hall, e.g. respect for you and your children.

    When you have to move for the lunch tables to be set up can you make that the time for your outdoor work?

    Regarding the whiteboard - you don't need one to teach children. If you research other teaching methods like Montessori for instance, you may get some useful ideas. Gorton Mount School in Manchester use the Montessori Method in their classrooms, there are other schools down south too I think. You can arrange to visit them and see how they do it. You don't need all the Montessori equipment to teach the Method - Gorton Mount have lots of activities that interest the child but that are not the expensive Montessori ones. You can make most of the Literacy materials too.

    I'd be interested to hear how you decide to make the situation work for you. Have fun :)
  20. Sounds v similar to my NQT year, having to teach in the school library with loads of people walking through all the time. Also, whenever anyone more important than me (ie - everyone!) needed the library, I had to take my class outside in the playground. It was ridiculous - some schools really do take the proverbial when you're an NQT.

    I set my tables up facing away from the door, so that when people walked through, the kids couldn't see them (altho I could!)

    I also kept all my pens/pencils etc in a box which I could transport outside when we had to move. All the kids' exercise books were kept in plastic tubs which were easy to store & to carry around when necessary. The kids were also v good at carrying stuff & it became routine in the end to just transport the whole class elsewhere!

    Good luck - you & your class will be in this situation together this year :)

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