I start teaching in a little less than two weeks, and in addition to getting all the course material ready, I also thought I’d check out my classrooms this week to make sure everything was there that I would need and that I knew how to work the technology. Plus I had to take a COVID test…
I have been spoiled for the past 34 years, with all my classes being held in the same building where my office is. However, as a result of CVID-19 and the need to maintain proper social distancing, the capacities of classrooms across campus have been significantly reduced, and so all bets are off as to where anyone would be teaching.
I am teaching four sections of 45 students each, which is considered a large class by our college’s standards. Finding a space that could hold 45 students safely was a challenge, but as usual, our Registrar’s office did a wonderful job. The end result was that I would not be teaching in my building.
For three of my sections, I am in a traditional tiered classroom, shown below. I checked out this room on Monday, and I was able to get all the tech working. So I think I am good to go here.
Finding a room for my fourth section was a bit more challenging, and I ended up in a space that has temporarily been repurposed as a classroom. I also stopped by that space on Monday, and the photo below shows what I discovered when I walked into the room. There is a screen that drops down from the ceiling to cover the word, Villanova.
And here is the view from the front of the room, looking out at where the students would be:
Obviously, it needed some work, but I did not have the time to do anything on Monday.
So that’s what I did today. It took a while to figure out how the desks could be arranged to fit 45 students in the room, six feet apart, and hopefully, nobody feeling like they are too far from the front. (I’m really glad I took all those calculus courses so that I could figure out something like this…) 🙂
At first, I tried to go the high tech way and downloaded a couple of measuring tape apps to my phone to try and measure out six feet between desks. The apps were kind of cumbersome, but once I got the hang of one of the apps, I was able to measure off six feet and started to arrange a couple of the desks accordingly.
I then decided to measure how many steps were in between desks and found out it was about two fairly large steps. Once I knew that, then setting up the rest of the desks went fairly quickly.
Here are two photos showing the final result, one from the back, and one from the front of the room:
You may have also noticed that the projector at the front of the room is working (as well as a monitor on the side), thanks to some help from a friendly and helpful tech support guy from Athletics.
The reason Athletics lent a hand was that this room is located in our Fieldhouse and overlooks the football field. I believe the room is usually used for receptions before games and other special events (it’s actually the room where I met Michael Bloomberg a couple of years ago). There is also a patio outside those windows you can step onto to watch the game. Fortunately, I do not believe there will be any games played while I am teaching, since I know where my students’ interests would be! The photo below (pre-rearrangement) gives you a sense of the view of the football field.
I must admit it was kind of fun setting the room up. It was a nice change of pace from the usual pre-semester routine of getting lectures, assignments, and tests ready.
I also got my negative COVID test result yesterday, so now all I need are the students, and I’ll be ready to go…