The new STEM building has opened fresh opportunities for non-STEM teachers to move into different classrooms. Most have already moved, with some still deciding.
“I moved in right after spring break,” history teacher Robert Watson said. “I was ready for a change, and to have actual windows that go to the outside other than being in the ceiling… I got Mr. Davis next door, and Mr. Boyd down the hall, it’s fun, I’m into it.”
Watson was previously in room 407 for more than 10 years, the room was smaller and had no windows.
“The classroom is a little bigger, so I’ll be able to arrange things differently and spread out kids a bit more,” Watson said. “Which is part of why I wanted to do it, given the COVID-19 concerns, being able to get a little more space is big.”
Extra classrooms were made available due to the construction of the new science building and relocation of the science department in January.
“I think that the new building just offered more opportunities for collaboration because everyone was so close,” physics and chemistry teacher Rosa Herrera said. “I think I like it more because I’m closer to all the other science teachers, before I was kind of separated from them, so it’s just nice to have that… It’s easier to pop in and just ask questions to the other teachers.”
Along with Herrera, AP physics and chemistry teacher Timothy Blok was also affected by the moving of the science building.
“My tables are fixed, in my old classroom they were not fixed, I could move things around so, that was a little more flexible, and the students have gas and lab stands, and it’s much easier to do chemistry and physics in this room than in the old one, so that is super awesome,” Blok said.
With the new building in the back of the campus, there have been some advantages such as easier coordination and communication, but there have also been some disadvantages.
“Our stockroom is about half the size as it was before, for storing chemicals and glassware, it’s way smaller, so that’s kind of a bummer,” Blok said. “There’s no bathroom in this building, so it’s tougher on the students, they have to walk a lot further, I have to walk a lot further for those kinds of things.”
Some teachers are in the works of getting a new classroom. English teacher Damon Uriarte is planning on moving into his new room near the English department over the summer.
“I am excited to be in the same building as the rest of the department,” Uriarte said.
Uriarte has always been in the back of campus, far from the rest of the english teachers.
“I’m looking forward to being able to be near my colleagues and pop over and ask questions. So that to me is not about the physical space, it’s just about how close I will be to the rest of the department.”
The increased availability of classrooms has allowed teachers to communicate and collaborate with much more ease.
“We’re all together, which is awesome, I like working with these folks,” Blok said. “I’m excited about it, it’s a change, but some change is scary.”