Teaching from the cart


Courtesy of Kaeli Newcomb

Freshman English teacher Deborah McAdams, teaching her first period class.

This school year has brought about much controversy. From the mask versus no mask debate, to how events should be held regarding COVID-19, to teachers without a classroom.

English teacher Deborah McAdams is one of those teachers. She goes to different classes during other teachers planning periods to instruct her class. The idea of not having a classroom is referred to as “floating.”

“It is a huge adjustment getting comfortable with your students in someone else’s classroom,” McAdams said. “It is a lot to get used to and it is weird not having my own space to teach, with my own privacy.”

Although she is still trying to navigate being a floating teacher, she says she is, “acclimating well.” Adapting to new responsibilities may be challenging, although McAdams along with other floating teachers, have made the best of the situation.

The unconventional style of educating has received mixed emotions from teachers. Going from being a teacher with a classroom all to themselves, to then being downgraded to a small cart can be upsetting for some. With all the hustle in the halls, teachers with these carts oftentimes get caught in the traffic and in doing so risk arriving late to class.

For students this can be challenging, due to already facing the possibility of being late, this makes the traffic even worse for students.

Senior Kira Dipietro says, “It is very hard because we have to wait for them to get through the crowded hallways and get their carts organized before we can begin class. Additionally, it can be distracting when other teachers are in the classroom when the floating teachers are demonstrating the lesson.”

Floating teachers always have to be prepared with their materials because they have a confined space to hold everything. Educators must have all their materials on their person, including their assignments for class, writing utensils and even their personal items. The influx of over 1,500 students being enrolled this year has caused major traffic back-ups in the halls, therefore teachers with large carts have contributed to even bigger crowds.

Junior Tatum Vorsteg adds onto Dipietro’s claim, stating, “It is much more difficult to find teachers if you need help with an assignment, because they are never in the same class for more than one period, so if you forgot to ask a question in class, you spend the day trying to track them down.” This can be difficult because Schoology messaging is the majority of teachers’ preferred method of contact, although some teachers can forget to answer timely questions. Asking in person is the easiest way of receiving help, and if you cannot reach them there is no way to learn how to do something.

Decatur does all they need to ensure an interactive and fun learning environment for everyone, while maintaining COVID-19 guidelines. Floating Teachers have had to comply to make sure students receive hands on learning with smaller classes, to then receive a better understanding of the material. While it may not be ideal for students and teachers, there is no sign of this concept being taken away, because of all the learning opportunities it has produced.