We have talked about the “reculturing” of our beliefs about the purposes and appearances of the ideal classroom many times throughout this program, and this is something that I continue to think about and incorporate into my own thinking. I do not remember which class at the moment, probably many of them, where we had a conversation about our views of what a classroom looks like. Unfortunately, many of us stated the “obvious”: Some type of writing board in the front of the classroom, small desks aligned in rows that all face the board, and a computer on the teacher’s private (much larger) desk. This image alone illustrates how the “traditional classroom” has not changed along with the new technologies that are now open to us.
While teaching upstate, I did not have the luxury of having a smartboard, let alone enough copies of A House on Mango Street, but I did attempt to make my classroom unique. Every couple weeks, I would move the desks into a different formation: facing front, large circle, grouped, etc. I also asked for an ELMO to use in my classroom. At Cortland, I was taught to step outside the traditional classroom ways, but I know that it is difficult with the lack of resources available to some as well as the comfort that we all have with the traditional classroom approach. This is something that widely concerns me and that I will continue to work on.