Moving to a new school gave teacher Scott Hebert plenty of creative freedom with his new classroom.
After the school moved from Our Lady of the Angels to St. John Paul II (St. JP II), Hebert found his new classroom to be a much larger space and better shaped than his old room, which he described to be long and skinny "like a bowling alley." His current room is larger and rectangular, which is more convenient for his needs.
Hebert is well known for his style of teaching because he has adapted his class curriculum into a medieval-themed game. This style is called gamification, which Hebert has written two books on.
"When I started four years ago, I really wasn't sure what I was doing. So, now that I have the ability to design the space from scratch--which is also a bigger space--I knew exactly how I wanted to do it from the trial and error of the four years," explained Hebert.
The room is better suited for a science classroom, being equipped with more power outlets, more sinks, extra room for storage, space for Hebert's "battle board"--a table-top game he created for the class--and more usable space for the students to move around and be creative in.
At the end of each year, the science teacher allows his students to give him report cards on his teaching. Hebert has used the input from these to adapt his style to suit the students better. He also took their opinions into account when designing the new classroom, such as adding glow-in-the-dark stars for their light unit and voice-automating parts of the classroom.
"Very rarely do we actually sit down with the kid who dislikes school or who is struggling and say, 'Why? Why is it that you don't like it? Why is it that you are struggling?' You create a safe environment where they tell you the truth, you can actually really take leaps and bounds with kids."
Creating a complete world for his students takes a lot of material, so Hebert is always accepting donations from the community to help him add to his classroom.
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