Do you share your room?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Caesar753, Jul 2, 2007.

  1. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jul 2, 2007

    We were just notified that next year there will be 6-8 roving teachers in the building and that we will likely have to give up our classroom during one of our preps. I know that no one chooses to be a roving teacher and that it really stinks for them, but I hate the idea of not being able to use my room on my prep. Everything I do is on the computer, so not having a computer on my prep is like not having a prep! Ugh!

    Anyway. How many of you share a classroom with another person? How do you keep your things secure? I know that my personal belongings and the department's high-tech equipment is safe and secure when I'm in the room to watch it... but what about when I'm not there?
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I've almost always shared. This year I had no homeroom, so I was the "guest" in someone else's homeroom.

    I was very lucky. The person who shared his room with me was a total sweetheart. He told me to make myself at home, gave me the top 2 drawers in the file cabinet, gave me access to the storage cabinet, the works.

    We both made sure to lock what had a lock, and not to keep valuables elsewhere.

    It's the norm in my school, so most of us find it to be no big deal. The rooms are secure because of the computers in there.
     
  4. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    I have almost always shared my room. If I need to work at my desk, I stay in the room and work. We all do this in my school. I have been the roamer and the host, so I can approach this issue from both sides. When I was a roamer, my "host" would not allow me to erase anything from her board (even though I taught in there the last two periods of the day) - how do you teach without using the board from time to time! She also said I couldn't use her overhead projector - I got the principal involved in that one. I was not allowed to keep ANYTHING in her room, and my students were not allowed to use ANYTHING (even the dictionaries). This woman was supposed to be my mentor too. Needless to say, it was not a good year.
    When I am the host, I talk to the person who will be in my room and ask what kind of space s/he needs. I keep bulletin board space, and sometimes there is a second teacher desk in my room. My school purchased general supplies are available, as are the computers in the room. Really, they are not OUR rooms, they are the school's classrooms to be utilized as needed.
     
  5. trulyblssd

    trulyblssd Companion

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    Jul 3, 2007

    I was a rover last year and will be one again this year (most likely). I hated it, but made the best of it. The ideal is to have a classroom, but if your don't life is a lot easier when you have a teacher who cares about you as a teacher.

    I say, if you have a rover in your classroom try and make them feel comfortable and be respectful of them as a teacher. The reason I say this is because (I roved into 4 different classrooms) I had some rude teachers. They talked onthe phone during my class, had guest come in and talked loudly with them, didn't leave board space for me, butted into my lessons and yealed at my students. It was insane. I say don't think of the class as your class and things will go easier.

    Embrace the rover!
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Thanks for the tips so far!

    I'm not very possessive about the classroom and boardspace, so I'm happy to share them. It's two things that bother me: The first, as I mentioned before, has to do with the computer. I use the computer to write and submit lesson plans, enter grades, update our class website, research new activities, and create worksheets and handouts. Without being able to access my computer on my prep, I'm going to have to spend extra time outside of my contract doing those things, and that bothers me. =(

    The other thing has to do with keeping materials and equipment secure. I don't mean to suggest that I'm worried that the roving teacher will take my stuff or something. Rather, it's the students I'm worried about. Students at my school are... less than respectful of other people's stuff. I've seen other classrooms destroyed and looted by students who feel disgruntled or bored. I know that I can keep an eye on my own kids in my room, but I can't watch my stuff when there's another class in my room. And since all the equipment would be signed out to me and I'd be responsible for it, I want to make sure that it stays safe and in good working order.
     
  7. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Could you block off your desk putting it in a corner? Put a file cabinet between you and the class. Put up a divider or make L shape bookcase and sort of hide your desk and you and be allowed to work at your computer. For personal things a cheap cupboard with a lock might be extremely cheap insurance. Big Lots have cheap furniture that would work great.
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    My desk is already in a corner where I try to keep all my 'me' stuff. I don't feel comfortable blocking myself off from the rest of the class, so I don't think I'll be moving bookcases or cabinets anywhere. I guess I'm not too worried about my personal stuff getting taken by students because it's not that interesting or valuable to anyone except me.

    I'm mostly worried about the LCD projector, my supplementary audio enhancement system, TV, and all the things that go with them (remotes, cords, microphones, whatever). I can't lock those things up anywhere without them being inaccessible to the roving teacher.

    Kids at my school can be really awful about taking stuff, though. Last year they were taking all the mouse balls from the computer mice (mouses?). Our school had to switch to all optical mice because of it. They take cords and batteries and other little things that make the bigger thing inoperable. It stinks. =(
     
  9. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    As a department chair, I have had to oversee (and intervene with) "floaters" and their hosts. One thing I tell the host teacher is that the classroom is the property of the school district and the tax payer... not that one particular teacher. If, as an admin, I make the decision to put another teacher in room x during 2nd period, then during 2nd period, that teacher gets full rights of use in that room. You can ask the floater if you can stay in the room during his/her class, but you can't/shouldn't demand it.
     
  10. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    My idea was if you were in your corner and somewhat out of site, you could watch the things in your room. You would be like a quiet little mouse. Don't get up and move around. Do your computer things and keep a eye on the things that are checked out to you.
     
  11. Mrs_Barrett

    Mrs_Barrett Cohort

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    I shared my room the first year of teahing (2 years ago). It sucked. The other teacher used it in the morning and then I used it in the afternoon. I had to make sure everything was put away everyday. Also the other teacher's students were rough with materials in the room and things were broke. I teach Pk. When I had my preps in the morning, I would use my computer. My computer was in the room where we shared.
     
  12. trulyblssd

    trulyblssd Companion

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    All of the classrooms that I roved into the teachers stayed in there when I was teaching. I didn't like it, but it's a compromise. It didn't bother me when the teacher was invisible and by that I mean they didn't talk to my students, but in my lessons or use the phone while I was there. I don't see a problem with you staying as long as you’re respectful.
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I guess I hadn't even considered staying, but that's something to think about. I don't want to infringe on the rover's space--and I know I'd be annoyed with another teacher in the room with me all the time.

    I was really just whining about not being able to have the use of my room on my prep. I pretty much whine all the time. Eh. =)
     
  14. historybuff91

    historybuff91 Companion

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    Jul 4, 2007

    My school recently added the sixth grade to middle school, causing huge classroom issues (even though we got another 20 classrooms through additions). Since then every teacher has two classrooms. Your main classroom (three periods are taught in) and your secondary classroom (two periods are taught in). Every classroom comes equipped with two teacher's desks, one computer, and one projector. The biggest problem is deciding on how to set-up the desks. Most teachers just opt for the normal grid system, in our case five rows with five columns. Normally most teachers leave their classroom when the other teacher is using it. This works out well since there's always computers to use in the "staff development center." Also board space is somewhat of a problem for those teachers that write a lot of notes (or problems in math). Storage can be a problem if the teachers use different textbooks. I teach eighth grade whereas the other classroom teacher teaches seventh so we have two sets of 30 textbooks for the class, and then the student textbooks at the end of the year (280).
     
  15. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Bravo to all of you who make this work. I don't even like sharing my closet.
     
  16. Chocolate_N._O.

    Chocolate_N._O. Rookie

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    We had 2 rooms renovated last year so for 3 weeks, 2 classes had to float. The problem with that was, neither classroom was mine to begin with but the moved a first year teacher into my room and made me float. Their reasoning was, she had some major discipline issues and they didn't want to put anymore burden on the first year teacher who was already struggling. Boo flippin who is my opinion on that. It's not my problem she couldn't handle her own poop.

    On top of that, she ended up quitting right before the change went into effect so they hired a recently retired teacher to fill her spot and he took my room. SO be it. He was a great guy and he viewed the room as my room and he was simply a guest in it. I had wrestling supplies in there, we were in the middle of the season. And to top it off, we had an issue with class books for my class.

    We have 2 sets of books, a home book, and a class book. Well, I was in 5 different rooms having to move everything I needed from one place to the other. So I told the kids, for the 4 weeks we floated, they had to bring their home books in even though they didn't have lockers. The principal emailed me and told me I needed to find a cart and push the 35 books I needed (yes, I had classes with 35) from class to class. I told her no. (good thing I have tenure I suppose).

    What made me me so angry about the entire situation was...
    1. I had more tenure than the original teacher that they made plans around

    2. Because she can't handle her own crap, and I could, I get shafted. (the admin was trying to spin it that I could handle it, I had things under control and basically blowing sunshine up my butt so I'd quit complaining)

    3. Admin wanting me to push 35 books around all day so students wouldn't have to carry around 1 a day. 1 parent complained.

    4. the 6th period class I used (the class with 35 kids) was an ESE room. It had 20 desks originally and so I moved 15 more in. But the regular teacher didn't want 35 desks in there, so he would put the up in a different room every morning. When he finally stopped that, He would simply have the rows so tight that it couldn't be done for me. He had 10 kids per class, and they simply sat 2 per row. I had every desk taken and having 35 kids in a spot he deeemed appropiate for 10 kids just wouldn't work. He would tell me not to write on his whiteboard, etc.
     
  17. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    forgive me for disagreeing, but I would have a real problem there.

    While I'm in the room teaching, it's my room. I'm not a guest who is observing for a day, I'm a teacher and this is my class. If I'm being observed by my department chair, great. If another teacher wants to observe my class, he or she is free to set something up. But when my class meets, it's my class and I'm the teacher in the room. I don't want anyone else giving me or, worse, the kids I teach, the impression that I'm not capable of controlling my own class.

    When the bell rings, your class is over and mine begins. The room is now mine. If you put your stuff away I won't touch it. If it takes an extra minute or two on occasion, that's fine, and I expect the same courtesy.

    But that room is not yours. It belongs to the district and the taxpayers-- the same ones paying your salary and the salary of the person in "your" room teaching a group of kids. If security is a problem between periods, lock the door and the next teacher can open them up when she gets there.
     
  18. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I would absolutely hate sharing a classroom, from both perspectives. I know that the classroom is not mine, but at the same time it is my home away from home. I've spent hours working to make it comfortable and organized, not to mention the money invested. So, while the physical, empty room isn't mine, I've created a room that is.

    I would be very understanding for the sake of the floater, because I would rather be in my position than theirs, but oh, how aggravating it would be.

    I just hope I never have to deal with this!
     
  19. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    The computer is an issue though, from a planning perspective. It is "unfair" that a teacher cannot fully do his or her job during this time because the room is in use. This is where a laptop would come in handy for sure. When the "primary" teacher has planning s/he could take it and work elsewhere.

    Do most floaters have a laptop on their cart? They are certainly at the greatest disadvantage!
     
  20. EngTeacher15

    EngTeacher15 Companion

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    I find this entire thread very interesting. I just spent my first year of teaching as a floater, and for those of you who have never done it, it's TOUGH. I never felt like I had my own space, and it was very difficult to keep student projects, let alone have a system of organizing my materials. I didn't even have a filing cabinet that I could call mine. It definitely affected my teaching, and I can't WAIT to have my own classroom next year.

    Just like the regular classroom's teacher has to go somewhere on his/her prep, we have to go to a random place too (on my prep I was in the English workroom). Often times we have difficulties getting things done on our preps, let alone before or after school. Also, students didn't know where to find us before or after school if they needed help, because it was almost impossible to establish a place where they could find us.

    If you DO have to share your room, be as welcoming and accommodating as you can be to the floater. Try to give the floater teacher some board space and maybe even a cabinet. If you can avoid it, do not stay in the room when the floater teacher is teaching. It is uncomfortable and intimidating. The students wonder why the other teacher is there, and it makes it even worse if the teacher tries to give you advice in front of the students or take over your class. If you're a floater, my only advice is to be flexible and stay organized. Make a joke of it. I told my students that I was going to get rims for the wheels of my cart, and they loved that I was able to make myself. They decorated it and even fought about who could push it down the hall or into the classroom.
     
  21. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    Cassie not only have I shared a room but I have done it twice. My first teaching job I was a long term sub in alternative ed, not only did I share a room we both taught in the same room AT THE SAME TIME! It was a large room it used to be the auto body shop (think garage door and a breezy feel!) So when I got my own classroom with my contract position in another district I didn't mind sharing for an hour a day. I just got my lunch and left. Now everything on our computers is saved on the network, so I could save it and log off, and find it all on the next computer I logged onto. But you can bring a flash drive and do your lesson planning that way.....just save it all on them. Staples has a 2G one on sale right now for $19.95 down from $50.

    To make matters interesting with my last classroom sharing, I shared with my principal. He taught one class a day in there.....so of course I let him use whatever he wanted. But it went both ways, I got to use whatever supplies he had in the room. So I had things I couldn't get with the limited budget they got me, like scissors.

    Yes the sharing of a room can be difficult, but I thought of the time at my current school as a chance to get a change of scenery and relax, that time was HUGE for me, I found when I stayed in the room and subbed for him I got more stressed toward my last hour class who were, um a handful to say the least.

    Just remember to make a few agreements about how things will be shared from the beginning, write things out if you have to, and go into it with a postitive attitude and you will find the blessing in the pain.

    Good Luck, and at the least think of it this way , you could both teach in the room at the same time! :D
     
  22. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Like I said, I couldn't imagine being a floater. Bless you all! :)
     
  23. Teacheroo

    Teacheroo Companion

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    the elementary schools in my area are all on the year-round system and we rotate, meaning every three months we change rooms. Some schools, or teams within schools, choose to rove instead, so that one teacher changes room each month but all the others get their own rooms. This way, you get your own room for 3 years before having to rove. My team elects to do the rotating thing. I'm not excited about it, but I guess I'll make do. We have to pack up our entire room every three months. I guess I'm lucky, in that I can have my 6th graders do a lot of the work. Ugh, How in the world do you prepare for open house and everything??
     
  24. Tookie Williams

    Tookie Williams Rookie

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    floating should be based on seniority. If I'm the low man on the totem pole, then I have no problems accepting my role of floating (even though it's less than my ideal) However, I better not be assigned to float if there is someone lower than I.

    I don't agree with the philosophy that it's both teacher's room equally. I know it's taxpayers room but I am assigned that room, the other teacher is assigned to float.

    The room is to be set up like the main teacher wants it and the floater makes their seating charts, etc, around that. If I were to rearrange my classroom setup, I would tell the other teacher, but I wouldn't ask permission. However, they shouldn't get the same option if they are a floater.
     
  25. MsPlace

    MsPlace Rookie

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    I have shared my room as both the floater and the home teacher. I really agree with the position that the room is the schools. We are all there for the students.

    In our school, the computers are networked and we do attendance on the computer. This is a requirement. We are also required to have our email accessible. That means the computer needs to be available for the floating teacher.

    I have had a problem with floating teachers allowing students to "trash" my room. I continue to discuss expectations (but not blame). Part of my problems have been that I have the same students as the floater, so the kids are in the same room with both us during different periods. If the expectations are very different, then the students have may have problems with the transition. We, however, are the adults.

    I am floating this year, and not looking forward to it. It will affect my classroom management and how I use my class time. I hope the teachers I am sharing with are flexible.
     
  26. trulyblssd

    trulyblssd Companion

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    I did the same thing. My students made me decorations for my cart. You have to make it fun or you will go completely crazy!

    Roving has to be one of the most difficult things to do, especially as a new teacher. As a new teacher you have an enough issues to address and not having your own space makes life a lot harder. I still don't know if I'm getting a classroom or not next year. It sucks!

    Everyone on the forum seems really understanding about rovers, however there are a few that have no sympathy and I don't understand that. To those that have no sympathy, I would say this and to all (rovers included)....It's not about you! It's about the students and whatever needs to be done to make school easier for students needs to be done. That's how I am trying to live my career....it's not about me. If we all think like that we would realize that whether the classrooms are ours or not what does it matter??!!? We just have to all think about our students first and the classroom situation will fall into place.
     
  27. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Yes, it is about the students...which is why each teacher should have their own room so they can most effectively and efficiently teach the students. If only, I know.
     
  28. Tookie Williams

    Tookie Williams Rookie

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    I'm allowed to look out for myself though.
     
  29. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    But, I think there is a difference between looking out for yourself and doing what you can to help all of the teachers in your school be successful for all of the students. We have more teachers than there are rooms, and therefore we all have teachers in our rooms during at least one of our prep times. Personally, I set my room up the way I want it, but I let the teacher who is in my room during first period know if I'm going to make a drastic change. I also save a bookcase for her to stash her students' binders and spare textbooks, and leave a bulletin board space for her if she wants it. I also make sure to show her where the basic supplies are (construction paper, markers, colored pencils, expo markers, etc.) so that she can use them if she needs to.
    We have teachers in our building that make the environment so hostile to the roaming teachers that neither the teacher nor the kids want to be in that room. Unfortunately for all involved, they are stuck in a bad situation for the whole year.
     
  30. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    We have 8 science teachers and 6 science classrooms. I was always used to having my own classroom when I came here. I have had to learn to adapt. No one has their "own" classroom. This year I will teach in 3 different classrooms. There is no senority or anything (our department chair last year was in 3 classrooms). The only problem is when we do labs because no one wants to set up labs in 2 different rooms so we ed up switching classrooms to do labs so that all my chemistry classes are in the classroom the lab is set up in. The school wants a college atmosphere where no teacher is assigned to a particular room but I know I lose some of my management skills doing this. So why do I continue to teach there--we are a private school but make more money than the public school teachers in my area!
     
  31. Tookie Williams

    Tookie Williams Rookie

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    Whoever has it the majority has control of the setup.
     
  32. Tookie Williams

    Tookie Williams Rookie

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    I do look out and try to make the situation survivable. But if/when a conflict should arise, my seniority and me being inthe class longer better have more weight for leverage.

    We actually don't float at my school, but I could foresee it in the future. I am making that political grab for the power now. If I don't make my position known to the admin, then we could end up in a position that a teacher in there for 1 period has just as much say over control and setup as the teacher in there for 5 periods.
     
  33. Tookie Williams

    Tookie Williams Rookie

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    good point, that's why it should fall back to seniority or in your case, who has the higher position.

    Examples like yours is why a pecking order is so important.
     
  34. Tookie Williams

    Tookie Williams Rookie

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    pecking order is > years on the job.
     
  35. allisonbeth

    allisonbeth Comrade

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    I floated for two years. My advise is to put yourself in the floater's shoes and help make it easier. Leave the room if possible (I agree with the poster who said to get a memory stick for your computer files). Find another phone to use when floater is teaching. Make room for the floater to store some items. Make sure your room is ready/ clean/ empty at the her class times. Give her time before school to set up her area so she does not need to set up while the students wait.
    You can set ground rules (nobody is allowed near your desk, no eating/ drinking, etc).
    Talk to administration to see if they can make it easier (have computer/ phone available for you in another room, locks for equipment that can not be put away, etc)
    Believe me...very few people want to be floaters.
     
  36. Eneli

    Eneli Rookie

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    Sharing a room!

    Do onto others, what you would like to have done to you! The golden rule works wonders at all times. I have been teaching for two years, this upcoming school year will be my third. My first year I was given the old science lab, I taught fifth grade and in there I had three art teachers and a counselor along with my desk and 21 children. I tried to show kindness and respect to the other teachers and I earned their respect. Now, I am great friends with all of them. My second year I had 27 students and an ESE teacher in my room with her desk and some space for a student. Again respect worked wonders. Next year I won't have a teacher in my room, but if I did it wouldn't bother me that much. Just be respectful of their stuff. I always left their things alone and instructed my students to do the same. Everyone got along.
     
  37. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Well said, Alice and Eneli!

    Teachers are treated so poorly and abused by the media so often, we need to help and support each other as much as possible.
     
  38. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Jul 10, 2007

    The key to sharing a classroom is to be considerate of each other. The way that we have worked it out is that everyone has her own spot to store stuff in the classroom. Each department in my school has an office and each teacher has a laptop so planning time without a classroom is a non-issue. The only problem I have ever had is with a teacher that likes to write her notes on the board in 1st period and leave them up all day. She would post signe around the room saying "Do not erase board." I taught physics in that room and would need to work problems on the board. She would than get so mad when I erased her work and she would have to re-write her notes. I just found out that we are in the same classroom again next year.
     
  39. Tookie Williams

    Tookie Williams Rookie

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    Jul 10, 2007

    if it's her room, don't erase the board
     
  40. Tookie Williams

    Tookie Williams Rookie

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    Jul 10, 2007

    figure something out.
     
  41. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jul 10, 2007

    Overheads and projectors connected to a PC seem to be needed in a sharing situation. If not, then at least one of those nifty sliding blackboards used in many colleges. That would ease many problems, I am sure.
     

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