Dreaming of an Ideal Classroom: Your Own! – Vicky Loras
When we had our school in Greece, we had 11 classrooms – not to blow our own horn, but in each classroom the teachers had all the equipment they needed. Or at least we tried to offer whatever we could, in order for the lessons to proceed smoothly. The school also had a computer lab and a room with an interactive whiteboard. Therefore, the equipment could be moved easily if needed, or the teachers and their students could easily be moved to the room they wanted to use, easily. We did this out of respect to our teachers and students, to make everyone feel comfortable and content to teach and learn.
When I moved here in Switzerland, I started teaching at various places until I could get enough work – in schools, companies, banks – you name it. Some places had the works, as far as equipment was concerned, some were okay – however, in some I had to teach in my coat and gloves (yes, you read correctly), or I was not even allowed to turn on the lights before a specific time in the afternoon. Thankfully, only a couple of places match the last description. Even in these unfavourable environments, I tried to make the classroom as ideal as possible for the students and myself. I had my passion for teaching to keep me going and the motivation of the students.
Is it the tech?
An example of an excellent teaching environment is the public college I started teaching at here last year – the administration people, secretaries and teachers are amazing to work with and the classrooms…wow, the classrooms!
– Whiteboards (three or four of them that you can shift on the walls)
– Poster paper (huge rolls of them!)
….wait till you hear this…
– 3D projectors!!! I LOVE THEM!
A great place to teach – a place that respects its educators and students. Shouldn’t all schools be like this? Some aren’t, understandably due to their restricted budgets, some because the people who own them do not care.
Is it the people?
When we are in class, we are there for our students. The people who make our every day different and varied, super and interesting. The people who come into our classrooms with hopes, dreams, ambitions and all the super characteristics that make up these varied personalities – some come with their own issues and challenges, but they too later become part of our little communities. Most of the times it works.
So, What Makes a Classroom Ideal?
It would be great if all teachers in the world could have everything they desire in the classroom – as far as equipment is concerned. For various reasons, such as restricted or no budget at all, school policy and so on, it is not always feasible. A lot of educators are so creative and imaginative that they find other ways of doing things, in order to compensate for the lack of proper equipment.
For instance, I knew a teacher who did not have an audio player in her classroom, but did such a great job in reading out the transcripts for listening tasks to her students, and in many voices and intonations, that she did not need an audio player at all!
Was it the teacher in this case that made the classroom ideal, as her students adored her teaching and learned a great deal from her? Definitely. Is it the students, I add, who make the classroom an amazing hub of learning? Absolutely. Is it the people that make a classroom a dream of a place to learn in? Yes!
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