Staff opinions of teaching in portables
October 7, 2019 By:MHS Piper
By: Josh Patton
Due to the construction taking place at McNary High School, sections of the school have been torn down to build new additions to deal with the bigger class sizes and upgrades coming to the school.
Sections of the school that were torn down includes classrooms and the weight room. To deal with the loss of the rooms, teachers have had to relocate to portable classrooms. The portables are found in rows in the front of the school by the parking lot.
Over the summer, the teachers had to relocate to their new rooms and redecorate the classroom. “My classroom wasn’t torn down, I was in room 142. The special ed program moved in because they needed the space. But I like it here, I have an air conditioner now which is nice,” said Mrs. Laura Reid, English teacher at McNary High School. Reid’s new room is located in portable 2B. The teachers that were moved are now in a type of neighborhood in the portables.“There is a good sense of community between me and my fellow teachers,” Reid said. The portables are smaller than the classrooms in the school, but they can still hold a good capacity of students. “It feels a lot squishier and smaller, but on a whole it’s not too different,” Reid said. Construction workers work around the clock to build the new additions to the school, which means they are building while classes are in session. “It’s fascinating to watch on my treks to my classroom. I haven’t noticed the noise to be a problem, however there is a yapping dog I hear every so often,” Reid said.
One of the concerns that teachers have about the portables is that students now have to walk further to get to their classes, but still only have five minutes to do it. “It’s not as bad as I thought it would be. I haven’t had to give out more tardies than usual. It’s not a lot different than it was in the school. I understand that it takes longer to come all the way out here so I’m pretty lenient with tardies, but if I see them come in late with dutch or Starbucks, then that’s a different story,” Reid said.
Being located outside has caused Reid to miss some of the things she had when she was inside the school. “I miss seeing old students. I would be able to say hi to them during passing time but now the only students I see are the ones coming to my class,” Reid said. The construction has affected everybody at McNary High School and leaves people with mixed feelings. “Everybody has to do their part for the construction. It’s an adventure. I’m excited for the new buildings that will provide new opportunities. I’m excited to see where I’ll end up, but it probably won’t be in my original room,” Reid said.
One of the facilities that was torn down over the summer was the weight room. The weight room is being rebuilt and will be better than the original. “We are getting a new facility next fall. It’s going to be similar floor space but it will be much more open to the one we had prior, before it got turned to rubble,” said Mr. Mike Conner, wights coach at McNary High School. The old weight room was outdated and had some safety concerns. “There were lots of columns that caused a lot of nooks and crannies that made visibility an issue,” Conner said.
For now, the weight room has had to make a new home, and that is a double portable located outside. “It’s similar in size to the old one but it’s more open. It gets a little cramped with my biggest class of 55 kids but we make it happen. It’s great how it all came together and it allowed us to get off to a good start. It’s definitely an adjustment but we make it work,” Conner said.
One of the drawbacks of being outside is how the period starts. The students in the class change into their gym clothes in the locker room like normal, but now have to walk outside to the portables. “The walks in the morning is something we still need to get used to,” Conner said. Just like classrooms, relocating cause its own stresses in the weight room. “We had to make a floor plan and identify where we wanted all the equipment. It got really stressful at the end of the summer, but it all came together,” Conner said. Weight lifting equipment into the new space during the summer was something that Conner was not looking forward to. “I was worried I would have to get some students together and ask them to help me move everything. Luckily though on Labor Day Weekend, the administration hired some people to come over and move it all for us and got it all ready for the school year,” Conner said. Conner enjoys his new space and is optimistic about the future of the weight lifting program. “This isn’t a bad inbetween and I’m excited to move into our new permanent home,” Conner said.
The portable moves haven’t just affected the teachers, but mostly the students. It’s led to some difficulties for students that have to walk outside to their classes in the short amount of time. “I don’t mess around during passing time. I just go to class but I still don’t have a lot of time,” said Peyton Barney, senior at McNary High School. Barney is one of the students that has to go outside a lot due to having classes outside and having weights class. “The walk isn’t too bad, but I can’t wear a hoodie because I have to dress down. I’m not looking forward to when it starts to rain,” Barney said. Having had weights class prior, there are noticeable differences between the original weight room and the new one. “It’s a lot more cramped and everything and everyone is closer together. It’s not really a safety hazard as long as everyone is smart and mature,” Barney said. Having multiple classes outside can cause for a lot of traveling throughout the day. “I have english 12 and marketing outside. On advisory days I have to go outside for advisory then go inside for guitar then back out for marketing.
It’s a lot of backtracking. I liked it last year when Mrs. Reid’s class was underneath Mr. Wise and I could just go upstairs to get to his class,” Barney said. Seniors at McNary won’t be able to take advantage of the new facilities and additions that are coming to the school due to them not being done until next year, but it’s still something they can look forward to seeing. “I think it’s cool, even though I won’t get to see it but I still think it’s cool that people will get to,” Barney said.