A question about school buildings

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Sarge, Jul 17, 2009.

?

When you step outside your classroom door, where are you?

  1. In an enclosed hallway or otherwise "inside" of a building.

    75 vote(s)
    82.4%
  2. In a breezeway, courtyard, quad, or otherwise "outside."

    14 vote(s)
    15.4%
  3. Some other situtation I haven't thought of.

    2 vote(s)
    2.2%
  1. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Jul 17, 2009

    People talk about teaching in a "building." They say "the kids enter the building at ..." "The doors to the building are ...." "Children can be in the building but not in the classroom"

    This sounds incredibly foreign to me. At my school, and at every school I've taught at, there is no "building." There are just rows of classrooms that open to the outside. There's an office and a cafeteria. To get from either of those two places from my classroom,

    This characteristic of my school has been a factor in the views I've expressed on a few threads about what teachers wear and on student supervision.

    I'm wondering how many teachers teach in a non-building like mine.
     
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  3. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    All of our buildings are traditional "buildings" with all the classrooms opening to the inside. We had one school that built an addition of several classrooms that opened to the outside, and nobody seemed to like them. Those teachers felt "left out" of the school community becasue everyone else was in the building.

    I'm sure that's a weather issue more than anything. We get incredibly hot & humid summers, lots of rain in the spring, and cold winters. It wouldn't be practical to have classrooms that open to the outside.
     
  4. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    I've never seen a school setting as a building, except on TV

    My rooms are in a rows, separate building for cafeteria/lounge/work room and office/nurse are/conference room. Bathrooms are connected to certain wings.
     
  5. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    My first teaching job, I was in something like you are talking about... the doors to the classroom lead outside. It was the "fish tank". They had painted a HUGE ocean scene on the front of the building. It was an addition. The main part of the school had hallways and such.

    My first aide job I was in a pod that had been transformed from an open pod to a 6 room pod with a common area in the center. Part of the school building had classrooms that opened to the outside and part that was hallways. They had it all. Each addition to the school seemed to be a different architectural fad.
     
  6. peggy27

    peggy27 Cohort

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    Jul 17, 2009

    Ours are enclosed too. Like Ima teacher said it's probably because of the climate. We get snow and cold weather. I've seen the outside schools in Vegas too where it's warm.
     
  7. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Jul 17, 2009

    Only say "inside" if a person must go through some other door to get to your classroom door.

    Only say "outside" if a person can get to your classroom by hopping a fence, climbing over a wall, or bending the bars of a gate.

    If it's 30 degrees outside and you don't need your coat to go to the cafeteria, you're probably "inside."

    If students ever take their umbrellas with them to use the restroom (like mine do) then you're probably "outside."
     
  8. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Jul 17, 2009

    We get a ton of rain in the winter. Wind so hard that my students need help closing the door. And 100+ temps in September and May. But all of our schools are designed to open outside. There's barely even a cover over the walkway.
     
  9. pxydst07

    pxydst07 Comrade

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    Jul 17, 2009

    I guess I'm sheltered!

    I have never seen a school that opens to the outside. I am in a building and that's how all the schools are. Of course, I'm in Illinois and it wouldn't make sense to walk outdoors to go to the bathroom if you have to shovel your way through!
     
  10. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    We have one building in the district - pre k through 12th grade. Almost all of the elementary classrooms have a door that also opens to the outside. One one side of the hallway, the door opens onto then playground and on the other side of the hallway, the door opens into an outdoor space that is totally enclosed by the elementary and junior high wings.
     
  11. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    So, this post brings another thought to my mind. What are your buildings doing (mostly "outside") to lessen the threat of an intruder??

    In southeastern Ohio, I teach in an "inside" school. My elementary is completely enclosed with classrooms opening into hallways (K rooms have an outside door as well), it is also connected to the district office, high school, and middle school. (Only 3 schools in my district.) We are completely contained on one campus (with the exception of the athletic field).

    We have now included regular lock down drills, with our fire & tornado drills, in the wake of Columbine & other school shootings.

    How on earth do you secure an "outside" school??
     
  12. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I'd like to add that my old classroom had no windows, not even a little one in the door. Most of the classrooms in the school were like this. I can't tell you how excited I am that I am moving to a classroom with ceiling to wall windows on one whole side of the room.
     
  13. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    You don't really. The gates have to remain open or unlocked due to fire codes. Anyone can walk on. They might get challenged if they don't have a visitor pass, but that's only after they've entered the grounds.

    Our classroom doors can only be locked from the outside. So in a lockdown, I have to step outside the door in order to lock it with my key.
     
  14. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Jul 17, 2009

    I forgot about classrooms that have one door that opens to a hallway and another that opens to the outside. For these purposes, that means an inside classroom.
     
  15. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    My high school has a combination of inside hallways and rooms that open to the outside, either to a courtyard or a "balcony" on the second and third floors. To get to my classroom, you have to go through the double doors that lead outside, which is where the stairs are. To get to the bathroom, kids have to leave my building and either go downstairs or over the bridge that connects to the next building over. If they go out the right set of doors and use the stairs nearest the library, they can get to the bathroom without getting wet because their path goes under the bridge.

    Unfortunately, our school is not the most secure - there are just too many ways to access the campus. The middle school I taught at has all outside-opening rooms and is completely fenced and gated; to enter campus during the day you have to go through the office. The other two high schools have similar setups.
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 17, 2009

    On Long Island, it's COLD from the end of October through late March-- those are typically the days when schools have the heat on.

    Most of my school (with the exception of the gym, the cafteria, and the auditorium is a 2 story square set around a central courtyard. (You should see it-- it's gorgeous!! A koi pond with bridges, lots of gorgeous plants and flowers!!)

    When we get too much snow or ice, they're forced to close the courtyars. (You know those signs: "Bridge freezes before roadway"??? They're right!!) At that point, to get from my homeroom in 107 to the faculty room--right across the courtyard-- I have to go up, across 1 1/2 sides of the building, and back down.

    We hate it when they have to close the courtyard!
     
  17. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Tell me about it! I actually cross a bridge to get from the faculty parking lot at the front of the school onto our campus, which was built across an arroyo (um...gully...big deep ditch...you get it). Even in SoCal it can get down to freezing in the winter, and they usually salt the bridge. One February morning a couple of years ago I was coming in, the bridge hadn't been salted, and I didn't see that patch of black ice at the end until my heel hit it... It was a rather spectacular, legs-flying-up-in-the-air fall. My kids watched a video that day while I spent time with a series of cold packs! :dizzy:
     
  18. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    I live in Saskatchewan where we have several days each winter where the buses don't run because its too cold! We're definitely in a building! It would be ridiculous to do anything else.
     
  19. MrsTeacher2Be

    MrsTeacher2Be Companion

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    I'm in a building, but I'm one of the exceptions at my school. Most of the classrooms open into a courtyard, though there are a few inside the main building. I teach 9th grade and we're housed inside a traditional hallway-type building. Our 9th graders are segregated from the rest of the school and it really sometimes feels like we are our own separate school, partly because we're all in a building together.
     
  20. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I've wondered why it's mostly in California that schools are of the open design. Is it because some architect thought it's always 78 degrees and sunny here? Is it because of earthquake safety? Is it energy? Too cheap to build hallways?

    Any ideas?
     
  21. Erin Elizabeth

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    Sarge, I've often wondered the same thing. Most every school I've ever seen in California has been an "outside" school. Even up in the Sierras where it does snow in the winter you find rooms that open directly to the outdoors.
     
  22. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    I am so excited about my new classroom. It is HUGE! There is a door that leads to the school hallway, and there is also a door to the parking lot. I love that, because it means that I can come and go as I please in my classroom. 6am on Saturday, sure!

    I would love to teach someplace with an open design. In Ohio it wouldn't work, Memphis has a couple cold days (could work), and here in Albuquerque we get a decent winter.
     
  23. 2inspire

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    Actually-I should have voted for other. If I step out my classroom opening (no door) I step into another classroom (open concept room design/pod) but when I step out of the pod I step into a hallway.
     
  24. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    No, but I remember growing up in New Jersey - where we had all interior classrooms, ate in the cafeteria in shifts, and had full-length lockers in the halls so we could hang our long winter coats - and watching "Room 222," a TV series which was set in a CA high school. They had outside lockers and ate outside! To me it might as well have been a school on Mars!
     
  25. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    I don't teach in a building like yours, but that's my favorite form of architecture -- the "old school"-style schools like yours that I attended one hundred years ago :)
     
  26. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    The exit to the playground is only a few steps from my door. This claustrophobic loves that set-up!
     
  27. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    The few newer schools in my district have indoor halls, my school is as old as the dirt its built on. Maybe they realized a decade or 5 later that inside makes more sense.
     
  28. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    I think this is an east coast/west coast type thing. My dad was in the military and they moved us every 1-2 years, so I went to a LOT of schools. All of the west coast schools I attended were as you describe, but all of the midwest and east coast schools were single buildings.

    I did interview in one school that was open. It is a real oddity around here.
     
  29. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    The only time I've ever seen an outside school (besides TV) was on a trip to Texas with my college orchestra. All of us Midwesterners were amazed!
     
  30. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    My first classroom opened to the outside though all rooms were under one roof. The office, cafeteria, and some classrooms were inside the main building.
     
  31. GoldenPoppy

    GoldenPoppy Habitué

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    My school is in a three-story house in a neighborhood of similar houses. The only way to tell we are a school instead of a residence is the sign in front. We do have a bungalow in the back where we have 2 more classrooms, so you do have to go outside to get to those, but it is never too big of a deal even when it rains. It isn't that far.
     
  32. lteach2

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    It just depends on if you mean my front or back door. My front classroom door opens into the hallway. My back classroom door opens into the courtyard. Others in my school have back classroom doors that would open to the bus lot or near the street.
     
  33. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I have 2 classroom doors- one to the outside and the other into the hallway...We are a 'building' with many 'wings' due to several renovations.
     
  34. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    My school is a combination of enclosed buildings, outside classrooms, and portables. I chose other because I have moved to a portable and it isn't near the other portables that open close to a building. Mine was used for storage so it is sort of out in the field by itself. (read...isolation! The best thing you can do for ESE children who need daily interaction with other people is to put them in isolation!!) We plan on making the best of our situation. We are close to the playground, that is good.
     
  35. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    The two buildings I was in prior to the one I am in now were both separate from the office/main building. I've seen several "outside" buildings at surrounding districts though. They all seem to be about the same age so maybe that was a fad for a while.
     
  36. yarnwoman

    yarnwoman Cohort

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    I hear you! We have permanently set portables for buildings. So we are always in the heat or rain. Really gotta love Southern CA weather!
     
  37. LMath85

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    My school building is a circular building. It is about 2 1/2 floors, as one wing has a third floor and the other doesn't. Everything can be reached through the hallways and you never have to step outside to get from one place to the other.

    I've never seen a school that is outside. I only know some schools to have a regular building and if they run out of space they have a few "trailer" classrooms on the side of the building.
     
  38. Mr D

    Mr D Comrade

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    I will be in the building in my new school that I am starting at this year. (In the past I have always been in portables, so they opened to the outside.) My classroom in my new school is at the end of an enclosed hall.

    One of the schools I was at had one wing with classrooms opening to a breezeway, but the main building had enclosed hallways. The other school I taught at also had enclosed halls.
     
  39. Mr D

    Mr D Comrade

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    This summer I am working summer school. The high school that we're in is made up of several buildings. Some of the buildings, inluding the one I am in, have several wings with a few classrooms opening up to an enclosed hallway. Each of the enclosed hallways opens up to an outdoor courtyard in the center of the building.
     
  40. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    I am so with you silverspoon65! My room is an inside room, no windows except the door window and the door opens onto an inside hall. Sometimes I feel like a mushroom!
     
  41. kidsr#1

    kidsr#1 Companion

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    Jul 17, 2009

    Inside

    My classroom door opens into a main hallway. In the event of an intruder, I would have to step into the hall to lock my door also.

    We have always been told that for insurance reasons there must be a clear view into the classrooms. A few doors have windows in them. The other doors have a window beside them, which we can hang some decorations on, but not cover completely.
     

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