Back to School: 2016
Classroom of the future
Students in Kings Junior High teacher Erik Poggi’s eighth-grade math classes came back to school ecstatic to find that their classroom had been transformed into something straight out of the future.
Not only was Poggi’s room completely transformed, but so was another classroom in the junior high.
“I wasn’t really expecting to get an entirely new classroom,” Poggi shared. “But it all started when I asked about replacing some of my desks that were getting a little worn down.”
No price estimate was given, but Kings Junior High principal, Nicole Huelsman recalled the effort and time she spent with other staff members in order to find a solution to the problem of replacing classroom furniture.
“Most decisions were made as a team,” she said. “We were committed to finding innovative classroom ideas and moving past the traditional classroom setting. It’s also supposed to appeal to students who have different types of learning. They can solve problems collaboratively or independently with a more tactful approach.”
Poggi sees this change in the students’ attitudes as soon as they walk into his class.
“There is an excitement when they walk in because it’s so new,” he said. “There’s not one person who’s come in looking disappointed. They haven’t had a chance to use all the new features yet, but so far they all love it.”
These new features include two full whiteboard walls, yoga chairs, desks and chairs on wheels, and even a touch screen television to give it a high tech, futuristic feel.
The students agree that they feel more involved in their learning just by a change in environment and hope to see more of these classrooms in every building in the district eventually.
“When I walked in the room it was a total surprise to me. My first thought was that math might actually be fun this year,” recalled eighth-grader, Natalie Russell.
Another eighth-grade student, Emma Lunsford, also feels the same way.
“It’s a new feel. I feel like I pay attention better because everything is just so cool and the desks and chairs move which makes me feel like I don’t have to sit still for an entire class period.”
Kings Junior High isn’t the only school in the district to have these classrooms of the future. Kings Mills Elementary also put in a twenty-first century classroom similar to the classrooms at the junior high. It is currently shared and teachers must sign it out to use for their class instruction.
Huelsman recaps by saying “We are trying to create an environment where kids want to come in and learn. Where they’re excited to learn. We are trying to modernize as much as possible and start small to grow this idea into the rest of our classrooms someday.”