Have I said how much I love my new classroom? I love it! I always thought that the old place, which was a double unit, with 50 children using it at a time, was busy and sometimes seemed chaotic. But we made the best of it, as you have to. It is only after being in this room for a few weeks, that I have realised that it does not just make a small difference to everything, but a huge one! For a start, I now have control over my classroom-I am not talking about the children here, but how I feel. I can make decisions about how I think it is best to do things, without having to compromise, and so suddenly am enjoying doing displays again, arranging the classroom, and thinking about how it can best help the children in my class to achieve, without having to worry about the other class too. (Sounds harsh I know but I already have 36 in my own class!) I do talk to the staff I work with about things, and listen and incorporate their ideas, but it is easier to do this with three other people than six.
The second reason I am finding it so much better, is how the children are in class. They are calmer, there is less running indoors, and the atmosphere is busy but allows the adults to focus on things more without the distractions we used to get in the old place. If anything is going wrong, it is easy to see in this smaller space, and to intervene quickly before things get out of hand. It is easy to stop them by ringing a bell-I can see everyone now! We have walls and a door! At my school, I have never worked in a fully enclosed classroom-it used to be all open plan, and even though some doors and walls were put in over the years, the nature of the building design meant that often your classroom was a corridor to somewhere else. There is nothing more annoying or distracting than people using your room to walk through, have conversations at the edge of, and push dinner trolleys through.