Wednesday, September 10, 2008

An intoxicating environment

Today I experienced two classes from a different perspective--sitting at a student desk to observe my colleagues' teaching--and I learned two really important things:

1. The reek of dry-erase markers reaches all the way to the back of the class, creating an annoyingly intoxicating environment.

2. The heating and cooling system in one classroom blows so loudly that I don't know how students in the back can hear the speaker.

I'm sure I learned other things too--after all, I was listening to some brilliant colleagues putting their best teaching skills on display--but I took special note of these two items because I wonder if they're true in my classes too. I teach in both of those rooms and I use dry-erase markers whenever necessary, and if the reek and the noise are annoying to me, they may be annoying to others as well.

I don't know what can be done about the loud fan except to speak up, but maybe we can do something about the dry-erase marker stink. Odorless markers, anyone? I don't mind if students get high on knowledge, but there's no need to send them to altered states via stinky markers.


joy said...

Where I would sit, it would take a while for the smell to waft that far back. In the meantime (or maybe it was the intoxication from the markers dulling my reaction time), I would get so caught up in the lecture that when the smell did hit me I'd sit there for five minutes thinking "What the heck is that smell and where did it come from?"

Julia said...

I did something about it and invented Non Toxic Low Oder dry erase markers WITH eraser!!! I would be happy to send you some for free to give to other teacher too. ... Just contact me through my web site