El Aula de Arte

When we first got to school back in August, neither my room nor Alex’s room were finished! We figured we must be permanent bad luck for remodeled rooms and started keeping our fingers crossed that we would have a place to teach when school started. We wouldn’t have, but thanks to the Ministry of Education moving the start date back, a few extra days of work meant classrooms with “most” of the accoutrements when the kids showed up. It has taken a little longer for some of the incidentals like curtains, keys to cabinets, etc. but having desks and a white board are a pretty good start.
Here are some pictures of the newly remodeled aula de Arte:

Looking toward my desk and the “front” of the room. I don’t spend a lot of time standing up there so I don’t know how you really determine the front. I intend to use the area behind my desk to put up all the example projects I make throughout the year so that next year’s kids can see what’s coming!
My biggest class has 26 kids, but I have 32 chairs so some extras are stacked in the corner. 26 seems like a million compared to my classes last year and it’s a little tricky maneuvering around the room to see what they are working on. I do a lot of asking them to scoot in so I can get by.

I got these fabulous new cabinets installed! There is lots of space for storing all the supplies that I don’t quite have yet!
Actually I shouldn’t complain. We have an almacen here (it was called a bodega in Honduras for those who are familiar) which is a lot like a school supply room only with tons more stuff and you have to fill out a requisition to get it. Not only do we have lots of good stuff in our almacen for me to snatch up, but I can request items to be ordered and get them in just a few days! So far I have accumulated a ton of construction paper, a class set of scissors, an electric pencil sharpener, external computer speakers, 25 boxes of colored pencils, 200 pieces of poster board, and I have 25 boxes of watercolor pencils coming (among other things). My students also had to bring in supplies so we have an absurd amount of watercolor paints and palettes, some modeling clay, paper towels, and printer paper.
Since I managed to teach with only colored pencils and watercolors for the first semester in Honduras, I figure I can make it a year and then order some more exciting stuff from the States for next year.

Looking toward the door.
I made the same bulletin board I had in Honduras because I love it and think it’s useful. I also think this time around I made it a bit prettier. This is where the current example project will go along with the rubric and any pertinent information the kids need to know about it.
In case you can’t tell, my ceilings are a little low, but we get the morning sun which not only brightens up the room, but warms it too. Some places in the school are freezing if they don’t get sun so I am lucky that I can basically bake if I stand on the window half of the room!
This did make for a bit of a problem on Friday when I tried to show a power point though. The lack of curtains meant we could see the faces in the Arnolfini Wedding, but none of the symbols we were going to talk about! Instead I gathered all 26 ninth graders around the laptop….cozy cozy.

My view isn’t quite as pretty as it was in Honduras, but that’s just because those trees block the mountains. Walking down to my room, I can look around and see all sorts of mountains plus the suburb of Carcelen that the school is located in!
I feel a little isolated down by the tennis courts all by myself, but I appreciate that my kids can be a bit loud and can even go outside and sit on the lawn to work on their projects without disturbing other classes. Plus, like I said before…it’s warm!!!

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