Series: First Days of School: It's Always Awkward in the Beginning

Teaching Without a Classroom
Lesson Objective: Navigate life as a roaming teacher
All Grades / All Subjects / Environment

Thought starters

  1. How does Ms. Wessling create a strong classroom culture without a traditional classroom?
  2. What materials does Ms. Wessling include in her cart?
  3. How does Ms. Wessling utilize digital resources?

I may start to sound repetitive but I really love this! This reminds me a lot of my high school. I went to a very small charter school with 93 students in my graduating 2014 class. We were far from traditional school and would find open spaces just like the teacher in this video! I think that even if I work somewhere (most schools) where I have my own classroom, I would want something mobile like the teacher had for us to be able to have class outside or in different areas of the school. I think it's helpful for teachers and students to get out of routine and do something different for new learning to occur! 

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This is an interesting method of teaching. As a teacher moving between classrooms sounds tedious and potentially, chaotic. There are pros to this as it requires the teacher to take on a minimalist approach and be flexible. In addition, the idea of flexible seating sounds great for collaboration and group discussions!

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I never considered that this would ever be an issue a teacher may face. The strategies the instructor displayed such as scanning her entire file cabinet and making the switch to only technology can be beneficial to all classrooms. Using scanned documents can save future headaches and help modify according to what went well last year and the future years to come.   

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I would not like to roam around. I want my own classroom because you have everything you need there. When you roam you are only taking the bare minimum. What if you need other material and do not have access to it?

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  • I feel like I relate to this video a lot especially when teaching in an art classroom and feeling like there is never enough space for everything. It is good to get out of the classroom space and take kids elsewhere to enjoy other experiences
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  • Teaching Without a Classroom Transcript

    Speaker 1:      Good morning.

    Speaker 2:      We are in a really unique situation.

    Speaker 1:      I

    Speaker 1:      Good morning.

    Speaker 2:      We are in a really unique situation.

    Speaker 1:      I can't find my key.

    Speaker 2:      We are opening up a brand new school.

    Speaker 1:      There it is. There we go.

    Speaker 2:      This year there is a lot more shifting. So all of the teachers have a shared workspace, there aren't any teacher desks in the classrooms themselves.

    Speaker 1:      Okay.

    Speaker 2:      Teachers are moving from one room to another.

    Speaker 1:      I'm losing stuff.

    Speaker 2:      In preparation for this, there's actually quite a few things that I've had to do.

    Speaker 1:      Back and forth.

    Speaker 2:      I found a card and tried to include some of the things that I loved about my classroom that I'd had for 19 years. I did a lot of purging and a lot of careful thinking about what was really important to a classroom.

    Speaker 1:      We're gonna take a look here.

    Speaker 2:      I took my entire file cabinet, and I scanned it. It's all electronic.

     I also tried to be really thoughtful about how to make sure we, as a group of learners, understand that we have agency over our own space.

    Speaker 1:      Today, I need us to be in a small, tight circle on the floor. So we're gonna go down to the end of the hallway. There's a nice space there.

    Speaker 2:      I don't want to be defined by a traditional classroom any more. I can't be defined by a traditional classroom any more.

    Speaker 1:      This is good right? This works. Yeah.

    Speaker 2:      We will be a class and we will be a community wherever we're at, and that the people are far more important than the walls that will define us.

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School Details

Johnston Senior High School
6501 Nw 62nd Ave
Johnston IA 50131
Population: 1541

Data Provided By:



Sarah Brown Wessling
English Language Arts / 10 11 12 / Teacher


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