Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Rearranging the Room, Again

When I began this long term assignment in the special ed class for adults aged 18-22, I planned to make no major changes to anything. I'm just an interim person, a sub for the class until they hire a teacher. 

But Covid. 

I got an email from the secretary asking us to make sure the students were all seated six feet apart (along with submitting a seating chart for contact tracing). Alas, when school opened to students, the recommendation was three feet, and the classroom was set up like this: 

Sorry for the crude sketches, but it's the quickest way to explain. Each table is 2 ft by 4 ft. An X marks where each student sat. 

To get the students six feet apart, the tables had to be pulled away from each other. Which made the classroom largely unwalkable. Tables were in the way. 

So, reluctantly, I rearranged the room.

It was much easier to space the students six feet apart like this, but this configuration took over the whole room. Plus, we had twelve tables, so I had three extra tables with no spot. This was beyond awkward. We all hated it.

So, I broke out the measuring tape and measured everything. I used graph paper to make a scale drawing of the room, cut out little tables, and spent the next week moving things about. 

Then, late on a Wednesday, I had it. 

I drew the tables smaller here, but they're still 2 ft by 4 ft. Putting the extra tables in the middle gets the students on either side six feet apart. And by angling the tables, each student is six feet away from the students at the other tables as well. Success!

And the students seem to like the newest configuration. Hopefully. (I previously mentioned that 2/3rds of the class is autistic, and they all really hate change.) 

Now I have to submit a new seating chart to the office. Sigh. 

27 comments:

  1. It's like one of those word problems in math class. Glad you figured out a good solution.

    Also hoping everyone (yourself included!) is able to keep healthy!

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  2. The seating was quite a mathematical puzzle. I wouldn't have done as well. Now, to get the students to adjust to the new seating - good luck. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. Yup, the best way to work a word problem is to draw a picture. It helped.

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  3. Awesome work figuring out the puzzle of the desks!

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  4. Great job! I probably would have still been shuffling desks around the room when it was time for class to start! Hope the new year will bring us all good news and relief from terrible Covid reports.

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    1. We actually were. That's what happens when you decide to move desks at the end of lunch. But it seemed to work out.

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  5. Wow. You're amazing and I hope you get a HUGE bonus this year because you really do go above and beyond. Happy New Year, Liz!

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  6. Looks like that works. Kids still distanced and get to see each other.

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    1. Yeah, it seems to be working pretty well. I can walk around the room now.

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  7. You did a great job figuring out a layout that worked with the constraints of the room! It's a shame that it's down to individual teachers to do all this on top of everything else you have to do though!

    Hope that the first week of 2022 is going well for you :)

    Away From The Blue

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    1. What else is new about public education in the US? There's a reason people are leaving the profession in droves.

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  8. That's a lot of hassle for you. And kids tend to mingle, especially between classes, so I'm not sure how well the contact tracing would work.

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  9. One of the thrift stores was doing some rearranging today.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

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  10. I was wondering if the rooms were even big enough to put them six feet apart. This COVID crap is really getting to be a bigger pain in the rear then it started out being cause it just will not leave .....

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    1. Not if I had a class of 36, but I have nine students, so it works out.

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  11. Good job on figuring out what would best work for both you and the Ss!

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  12. Looks like it took a lot of work. Well done!

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    1. Mental work, which doesn't bother me too much. I have aides who did most of the physical moving of the tables.

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  13. Hi Liz - well done on sorting out an arrangement that solves the covid needs - and great that most of the students accepted the plan. Cheers Hilary

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  14. That was a great idea to draw it and cut out tables instead of moving them around more than you had to. I don't blame the students for not liking it when the furniture gets changed around. My parents rearranged our house all of the time when I was a kid. As an adult, I never move the furniture if I can possibly help it.

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    1. Funny. My mother used to rearrange the furniture all the time, so I get that itch occasionally to rearrange everything. This is why I know the scale model trick. It's easier to picture things and have a plan ahead of time. (She would just move things and play with it until it worked out. Too much effort, I thought.)

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  15. I like the new design. The 2nd one is the way all of our classes back in the dark ages were arranged, no one was near anyone back then.

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    1. The regimented look works in the regular classrooms. We're a different sort of school.

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